Book Tag

Book Tag: Book Blogger Confessions

I saw this tag on Sara’s page and wanted to see if I could do it! I’m also trying to push myself and do a new tag/or other content on Saturday’s. Since I had my tag from last week, I’m moving forward this week!


Rules:

  1. Answer these questions truthfully.
  2. Once you’re done, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

I didn’t even bother writing a full review (but I did leave one on Goodreads). This book was utterly ridiculous and I have no regrets putting this one away. Luckily it was free, so I’m not losing sleep over it.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

This isn’t a guilty pleasure necessarily, but it is the book I read most often. I’m guilty of loving this story so much. I still feel all the things every time I open it.

Which book do you love to hate?

Okay, I really couldn’t find an answer on this. I guess I’ll go with Nicholas Sparks books. I haven’t read one since 2015, but I find it humorous how much I enjoyed the ridiculously dramatic romances once upon a time.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

Even considering putting a book near a source of water makes me hyperventilate. Though, I think we can all agree: ALLEGIANT would be the one to go.

Which book have you read the most?

I already discussed this under the guilty pleasure question, but definitely ACOMAF.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

I guess something by an author I don’t like, or a genre I’m not interested in? Whenever “present” times come up I send a list of books I want. I take out the middle-man of guessing haha.

Which book could you not live without?

Trying to mix up my answers here, so I suppose Kingdom of Ash. I would have been upset if I never had some closure since we had to wait over 1.5 years (millennia in book world right?) to get this epic conclusion.

Which book made you the angriest?

Most recently? Evermore. The review will provide all answers, but boy, was I upset with this turn of events.

Which book made you cry the most?

Kingdom of Ash was the one I cried during last. So let’s dive into history (when I was 8) and pull out the first book I remember crying over. THIS TORE MY SOUL IN TWO. I already feel like hugging my dogs against their will.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Rather than say what books covers I hate the most, what I hate even more is when book covers are randomly changed in the middle of the series without good reason. Or even worse WHEN THE SIZE CHANGES. AHH. This happened to me last year and I am still flabbergasted.

There you go! I tag:

Ashes Books & Bobs // Lori’s Bookshelf Reads // The Wolf and Books // Bookishly Rebecca // The Book Prescription

Even if I didn’t tag you please feel free to do this one! And definitely tag me in your answers, I’d love to see them!

Book Review

Book Review: Smoke & Summons (Numina Trilogy #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 332 pages
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: February 1st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A captivating world of monsters and magic from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series.

As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.

A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.

Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…

NOT AS EPIC AS I HOPED.

The summary unfortunately had me convinced of a lot more than the book gave me. I know it’s the first in a trilogy, but I expected a different story than I read.

We were immediately thrown into action, which I don’t mind at all. Everything was happening and it set the tone for the rest of the book. But then, the plot essentially was Rone and Sandis running around the same city in the same places hiding from a man while simultaneously trying to find another guy they know nothing about.

Sandis was dull. She has the extraordinary capability to become this fire horse, Ireth. Instead of learning about her powers and how to summon on her own she ran around having Rone save her over and over. I was hoping to see a lot more of the Numen and understand their history, but I think that must be a plot line further down? I’m not sure, background information and world building was altogether missing.

Rone was the best part of the story. He was sassy, a little wicked and had a deep rooted passion to protect his mother. This I am totally behind. Rone really was the bigger protagonist of the two. I loved his inner dialogue and his struggle to make a best decision among a handful of bad options.

I have a lot of questions about all of the bad guys. There’s an evil cult leader who plays his part well, but I don’t know why he’s awful. Then we have the ancient spirit, Kolosos, who we’re supposed to be afraid of the entire time and I am confused as to why on that too.

The story is there and I am still considering the second book. I can see how Sandis’s character can grow and change over the series in awesome ways. The plot definitely thickened toward the end and left me anticipating what would happen next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Very little language
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: guns, physical, knives
  • Trigger warnings: small scene of brief sexual assault
Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About

Howdy readers!

Another Top 10 Tuesday coming your way! This one was tough for me. I had to really search out books I have considered to add to my TBR, but am still thinking it through.

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

After Queen of Air and Darkness I am at a crossroads. Am I over CC? Am I over the Shadowhunter world? These are the questions that plague my book life.

Summary: From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

I actually haven’t read any of the Truthwitch book series, but there seems to be a lot of hype around this one. So now I’m trying to decide if I should add the series to my TBR.

Summary: Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

This is about to come out, but I’ve never read anything by this author. Her previous series (and this one) have a summary that seems up my alley, but is it worth it? Because I think I’ll have to read the others first…

Summary: Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about? 


Enchantée by Gita Trelease

LOVE historical fiction, but also really picky about historical fiction.

Summary: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Bookstagram has made me want this, but am I just in it for the gorgeous cover? Maybe.

Summary: Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

TW: Depression

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

I liked her first series The Crown’s Game, but have heard mixed things about this book. It might make its way to my TBR eventually. We’ll see.

Summary: A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Thrillers for me can go either way. I have a handful I loved and a handful that were just eh. This cover is super creepy though. Tell me, will I be freaked out!?

Summary: Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patientis a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Do I want more!? I’m so nervous about continuation of series when they were originally finished!

Update: I literally added this to my TBR this morning. The author’s Insta post convinced me. I want a real, solid happy ending with my loves Day and June.

Summary: Eden Wing is a brilliant student. He’s about to graduate a year early from Ross University of the Sciences, with honors, and already has an internship lined up back in the Republic. But most people don’t introduce Eden this way. Instead, they say, “This is Eden, Daniel Wing’s younger brother.”

Ten years ago, Eden’s brother Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. His name was spray-painted on walls, his profile splashed on both rebel pamphlets and wanted posters. He went from being a hunted criminal to a national hero in less than a year.

Day has spent the past decade piecing together his memory of his time in the Republic, pretending to enjoy life in Antarctica’s capital, Ross City , and quietly hiding out from the world—even if it’s meant giving up June, the great love of his life. As long as he can keep his little brother safe, that’s all that matters . . .

But Eden isn’t safe. As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become, they grow more distant from one another than they’ve ever been. Eden finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into Ross City’s dark side, until even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own.

When June suddenly steps back into Day’s life, rekindling the flames of their romance, the pair team up to do whatever it takes to rescue Eden. But like the rest of the world, they may have underestimated Eden—what he’s capable of, where his loyalties lie, and how hard he’s willing to fight for what he believes.

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend—for the most thrilling adventure yet. A truly grand finale.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Will this compete with the glorious Illuminae series I LOVED? Will this instead be a DNF like Nevernight? Only time will tell.

Summary: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

I really really….really don’t like reading novellas unless they are necessary to the story and not some fluff piece or background story that I’m cool not knowing.

Is this necessary? Do I need to read this before Defy Me? I DON’T KNOW.

Summary: Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates t his gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me!

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me, the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Which ones should I add to my TBR? Because really, I need some help. Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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. 

THIS. WAS. AMAZING.

Note: While there won’t be any spoilers from KoS, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING if you haven’t read Bardguo’s other Grisha novels (Shadow and Bone / Six of Crows). There will be spoilers to those stories.

I was all for this book from seriously chapter two. I could not put it down. What was even greater was that this book isn’t high action. Yes, there is quite a bit of action, but the story itself keeps you so involved there is hardly a moment of pause. Plenty of literal jaw-dropping moments that will leave you gasping. It’s biggest draw is that we get to see the characters from Shadow and Bone AND Six of Crows mix. This is the real winning moment.

“The monster is me and I am the monster.”

The whole theme of the novel is over-coming your demons. Each of our main POVs (Nikolai, Nina & Zoya) are all battling something; both physically and mentally. I loved how each story was approached and how they all differed in the handling of the situation. These characters arcs are going to be utterly devastating.

Okay, first of all. I AM ALL OVER NIKOLAI AND ZOYA. I didn’t love Zoya the first time I met her (Sh&Bone), but KoS allowed a look at her background. She slowly grew on me, with all of her sass, and the fact she owns her beauty. I love her all the more for her stubborn protective streaks and her fiery nature. And the things she gained along this journey? Queen of the storms indeed.

My dear, sweet, fox, Nikolai. Oh how I love you. Y’all. This has got to be one of my top characters of all time. He is so clever and charming. I want to be in his presence always. Bardugo’s ability to write the best conversation scenes leave me giggling and in awe every time. All I want is his happiness and for him to have Ravka in some semblance of peace. Apparently, this is a lot to ask for currently.

“One could plot espionage and still hope for dessert.”

Now, Nina. Her story was the only one that fell a little flat for me. Her grief over Matthias though? That made me want to sob. Those emotions were raw and broke me. The rest of her story was good, yes, but I think will be better in the second book. I hope that all of these characters come back together! I was really hooked on Matthias and since I clearly haven’t gotten over that I’m still warming up to Nina’s supposed love interest: Hanne. I like her, and I think as her character opens up I will love her. They need more time for me to really see their relationship. Hanne’s character is strong and passionate, so I can definitely get behind that.

This is getting a little long-winded. Whoops. Can you see how much I loved this book? I’ll close up soon because we have to discuss the ending…

…But we can’t, because I would spoil it for you. For real, I went into full panic mode at the end. So many gut-punching twists. I am stunned and questioning everything I know at this point. BOOK TWO COMES OUT WHEN?

“Anything worth doing always starts with a bad idea.”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy: Need to have read previous Grishaverse novels to really understand whole scope of story
  • Very little language
  • Violence: physical, poison, gun, knives, magic, etc.
  • Romance: so much romantic tension, AHH
  • Trigger warnings: mistreatment of pregnant women, mentions of miscarriage, drug addiction, murder
Book Tag

The Folk of the Air: Book Tag

The lovely Xandra at Starry Sky Books created and tagged me in my very first book tag! SO EXCITED. And this one is so clever and fun. Thank you for the tag!

RULES:

  1. You must tag the original creator (Xandra @ Starry Sky Books)
  2. Spoilers galore! You should probably read The Cruel Prince first! (You don’t really need to read The Wicked King, but that would be nice.)
  3. Answer all the questions.
  4. Try to tag at least 3 other bloggers.

Jude: A character who would probably kill you in your sleep.

Okay, so I’m quite confident any villain would kill me in my sleep. I’m too dangerous to have around in the first place. But for the questions sake, the Archivist of the Great Library would definitely have me taken out.

Cardan: A character who seems like a Bad Guy™ but is ultimately more complex than you thought.

I totally wrote in my review that I loved Cardan for this exact reason. So I had to think about a second character I feel this way about.

AH YES, HAN ALISTER. My little cinnamon roll who only wants love. He’s not a villain, or really that wicked, but everyone assumes he is. Alister is a complex, consorting mastermind who I’m so happy won in the end.

And hopefully that means Cardan wins in the end too.

Locke: A character (or plot twist) that made you want to throw the book.

My first initial thought was Allegiant. YOU ALL KNOW (and I honestly did actually throw this, and freaked my husband out). In interest of choosing a book I at least enjoyed with the plot twist:

Have you read this? Because if you have: YOU ALSO KNOW. I was gasping and freaking out. Didn’t throw the book per se, but you better believe I raged until KoA came out.

Taryn: A character who deceived you.

I finished reading this a few days ago and loved it, but Malachiasz from Wicked Saints totally deceived me!? I didn’t like him, then he grew on me, then he deceived me, and now I need the sequel. Need.

Vivi: A book that was significantly different from the others in its series. 

I wrote my first true, snarky review about this book. I truly loved Everless. And I was very upset with how book two went down. The characters acted differently, pieces of the plot were forgotten, and plenty of other issues that were vastly different from the original.

Valerian: A character who just needs to die (or, you know, get stabbed).

I’m trying really hard to make sure I have a different series for each book so this one took some thinking because they’re so many people I think need stabbed if I’m being honest.

Dr. Hatch from the Michael Vey series is a top contender. Who takes in kids and makes them evil for his own gains!? This man of unlimited resources caused one to many problems for me.

Oak: A smol™ character you would protect at all costs.

Marya from The Winter of the Witch. I think that Vastya does a WAY better job of protecting her than I every could, but I love this little witch immensely.

The Cruel Prince: A book that surprised you with a twist.

I remember reading this book right before the hype really hit and exploded this into a movie. When I got to the flip in the book I had to re-read the page over a few times. DUDE WHAT JUST HAPPENED is putting it lightly.

The Wicked King: A book you thought was better (or worse) than the first in the series.

There’s a reason I read this multiple times a year. This is the pinnacle of sequels. I haven’t come across many “book twos” that hold as the best book in the entire series.

The Queen of Nothing: A book you’re excited for, but know nothing about.

THE BONE SEASON #4. I have no idea when this is coming out, and no idea what it will entail, but I am here for the wait. I got attached to this series in 2017 and am hoping it will continue soon since Shannon has finished her latest project.

There you have it! My first book tag. Totally a blast. I’m going to tag:

LaureGalie // Paper Fury // Siobhan’s Novelties

Please feel no pressure because I’m not sure if you’ve finished TCP/TWK yet! And anyone else who has, you’re totally welcome to do this too. The more the merrier!

Monthly Wrap-Up

January 2019 Monthly Reading Wrap-up!

Is it really the end of January already?

Sometimes I look at my day and think it’ll never end, then I realize I need to write my monthly wrap-up and am amazed that it’s already here! Oh how times flies, and oh how I always wish I read more!

I finished a series this month and got around to knocking off some old ones on my TBR. Yay for a good month of choices.

Favorite book: Skyward / King of Scars
Least favorite book: Evermore

How was your month of reading? Were any of these on your list? Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

ARC Book Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books, for the opportunity to read Wicked Saints. Publication date, etc. subject to change.

OOO, I LIKED THIS.

I have so many questions, in the best way possible. This was a great opening book and I think this will be a fantastic series.

I was immediately thrown into an action scene where I didn’t know anything, but was totally captivated. I think that scene on its own will have further implications in the following books.

I had the hardest time pronouncing all of these names though, especially the gods. They’re a lot of characters. And often they are thrown together quickly. It took me longer to accept meetings/relationships than it did in the book because I wasn’t sure how everyone was so quickly trusting in the middle of a war.

The only issue I had was that the book could honestly, be a little longer. Now hear me out, whenever I read a scene that seemed very important to the series I felt it wasn’t long enough to grasp the whole picture. There were so many things happening in this book that it’s occasionally hard to keep up. More time could’ve been spent on getting to know others, fully forming plans, action scenes, etc.

Nadya is still growing on me. I liked her and think her character is going to have some great refinement over the next two installments. She’s a little naive and so rigorously faithful that it becomes her downfall. Nadya could stand to be a little more wicked. Especially since I feel this was the entire point of the book. She hasn’t actually done anything just yet.

Malachiasz on the other hand, totally baffled me. I went from: eh → you’re okay → I kinda like you → wait a second → oh no he didn’t → NOW WHAT HAPPENS? all in the course of this book. He took me on a ride and his broken, damaged soul is one to watch for. He’s the actual Wicked one and his buddies need to catch up.

Lastly, are dear Prince Serefin is an interesting character who I think will have a bigger role come book two. He’s here and he does a lot, but his story really picked up right at the end. I enjoyed his wit and charisma and am ever so curious how he will fare.

There’s plenty of world-building and a lot of religious discussions. I liked how Duncan wove the various religions with society and politics and with how religion and magic work [or not] together. I kept debating with myself which side I felt was the more trust worthy/best choice for Nadya because there’s a strong emphasis on listening, learning and not assuming you already know everything about someone’s beliefs. I’m even sitting here now trying to plot the entire series. I love when there isn’t a major cliffhanger, but enough open-endedness that you can hardly wait for the next one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Very little language
  • Violence: arrows, death, murder, torture, abuse, knives, etc.
  • Romance: light kisses, to intense make-outs
  • Trigger warnings: child abuse, self-harm, excessive use of alcohol