Book Review

Book Review: A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

STUNNING FINALE.

It’s time.

It’s time you read this series.

It is beautiful, raw, strikes so many chords and is nothing short of a magnificent story.

I love these characters and how real everything feels to me because of how the writing conveys their tale. The highs and lows and everything in between drag out all of the emotions and made me sit there and hug this book afterwards. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky story. A lot of bad things do happen, but I love the infused sense of hope that something is better out on the horizon. That we’ll get there.

You’ll never find yourself bored or dragging through any of these points-of-view. The high stakes action bouncing off of angsty moments had me gripping pages to know where things were going. I feel like even the side characters got some great spotlight and I was hooked on them by the ending too. While yes, totally hate how some things went down (without a doubt had me in tears), it all still somehow worked out in the end. That’s what I love. The loss of who/this/that didn’t overshadow where everything was leading.

This entire series took me on a such a journey and I have a hard time putting into words what the closing of this final chapter meant. An Ember in the Ashes will definitely go down as one of my favorite young adult fantasy series. The amount of dedication and work that clearly went into this jaw-dropping. I’m a fan for life and can’t wait to see what Tahir writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: little light
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; some little detailed fade out scenes (still felt appropriate for YA genre)
  • Violence: depictions of war, gory and bloody murders and battle scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of multiple loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Thawing the Viscount’s Heart (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #3) by Mindy Burbidge Strunk

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 219 pages
Author: Mindy Burbidge Strunk
Publisher: FiveJoys Press
Release Date: November 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He detests the French. Especially the one staying in his house.

Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair
Sweet, Regency Christmas Romances

Five Christmas romances and the Frost Fair that started them all

This is the third book in the clean and sweet Regency romance Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair series.
Although this enemies to lovers romance is a stand-alone novel, the books are best enjoyed when read in order.

ANOTHER ROMANTIC TALE.

Another good installment to this multi-author series! I didn’t love book two, but this one perked me up to continue reading the stories of all these Frost Fair ladies.

I liked the turn around for this romance. It starts off on the wrong foot (and with poor assumptions), but slowly turns into some true realizations. I love that Aaron was able to look into himself about how he was treating Gabby and where his prejudices were coming from. I loved Gabby and her resiliency in the face of a lot of people who hated her without knowing her. As Aaron and Gabby came together I found myself completely invested in their relationship.

Maybe some dramatics were added in for a bit for umph, but I didn’t mind. These books have a nice magical holiday quality that I’ve really taken to. I hope to finish this series soon!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: kidnapping
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, PTSD from war

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Book Review

Book Review: The HOOK (The PAN #2) by Jenny Hickman

Rating: ☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 350 pages
Author: Jenny Hickman
Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing
Release Date: March 3rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tomorrow isn’t promised, no matter how immortal you think you are.

In the aftermath of Vivienne’s capture, she discovers she’s destined to become one of the forgetful P.A.N. The devastating diagnosis leaves her questioning her relationships—and her place in Neverland. While on her second recruitment mission, she ignores a cardinal rule, and one of her fellow P.A.N. pays the ultimate price for her mistake.

Outrage over the death spurs Lee Somerfield’s growing rebellious faction to fight fire with fire, leaving H.O.O.K. in ashes and Neverland ripped apart from within.

Navigating new love and old secrets, Vivienne must now face the consequences of her actions … and decide if living forever is worth forgetting everything.

INCOMING.

A rant is incoming because I can’t even with this book.

First and foremost THERE WAS NO PLOT. NONE. Nothing happened.

The whole time the book focused on Deacon and Vivienne trying to bang each other but they keep getting interrupted. Or my personal favorite, they would get in a stupid argument and blow up at each other without communicating whatsoever to turn around and get back together within a chapter. AAAAAAAND the MANY instances of CHEATING that was played off as nothing. It was cheating. It should be taken seriously. Goodness gracious the rage I felt was next level.

I just couldn’t handle the level of immaturity Viv and Deacon resonated. They’re older teens (19 and 26). You would think they would be a bit more rational. I’m just begging for a little.

I am definitely not continuing this series. Even if a few side characters were okay and the only redeeming thing about this entire book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Violence: physical altercations, fires, gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 465 pages
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

OH WHAT FUN.

I haven’t read a middle-grade book in a bit and I forgot how much I enjoyed them! This was such a gem.

I flew through this (definitely a perk of a middle grade read) and was captivated by the story of Morrigan! I loved her character and demeanor. She was spunky, capable of going with the flow and was someone I wanted to cheer for during the trials for the Wondrous Society.

The rest of the cast was fantastic as well. Such a mix of different personalities and backgrounds. I look forward to watching friendships blossom and seeing how this story progresses. There’s plenty of action and the fast-paced keeps anything from getting slow. I think it’s a wonderful and appropriate read for younger audiences, but it definitely has the ability to draw in the older crowd too.

Loved this, will be continuing the series to see what happens next! I love following a longer series with a great group, a bit of mystery and a lot more of the world to explore.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Violence: some minor altercations and run-ins with ghosts and other creatures, but nothing overtly violent

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