Book Review

Book Review: Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 374 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: February 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

GOOD TO BE BACK.

There’s no secret here, I LOVE THE AIR AWAKENS SERIES. It’s one of my all time favorites now after reading it in 2019. I took a break from the world after binge reading the series. Now I’m back and ready for more.

I thought this was another good starter book for this new series. It’s set with Vhalla and Aldrik’s daughter, Vi and I know I’m going to love her just as much as I love Vhalla. I liked her spunk and bravery. The firm way she loves those around her and tries to protect them and the budding signs of a future empress. All good things here.

What I can’t stand for is SOMETHING THAT I WILL RIOT ABOUT IF TRUE. Though I fear it may end this way regardless, I will hold fast to my ideals. Kova once again does a magnificent job of keeping you on edge in her favorite fashion of killing/almost killing characters. I’m already trying to pick out who I think won’t make it to the end.

The romance is budding and sweet. I love the slow build of these books and that it doesn’t reach past or rush to solidify a relationship. There’s banter, friendship, quiet moments that I know will make me fall in love and ship them as hard as I ship Vhaldrik.

This new story line with new wickedness is interesting and I think will make for a great read. I like that I’ll get to know more about the other continent and that it seems to be pretty different from the previous series.

A bit of a note, you don’t HAVE to read Air Awakens first to read this series (the author has mentioned this), BUT I do think it’s a great place to start for Kova’s books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some banter/flirting
  • Violence: elemental magic, physical, swords

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2019

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I am not equipped to make these choices. As a bookish people, HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE TEN FAVORITES? I mean, I did narrow it down and finally chose some books.

Though, so you know as you’re reading, I gave myself some guidelines:

  • If it’s a whole series I read this year (and loved) I included it as one book
  • I am not counting rereads (because the ACOTAR series would inevitability show up again)

Alright, now that that is out of the way, lets get started! [and no particular order]

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Review here!

I loved this book so much I listened to it twice back to back. It was originally only an audible book that was published as a physical book. You better believe I now have that version too. I am obsessed with this story.


The Traitor’s Circle Series by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss | The Traitor’s Ruin | The Traitor’s Kingdom

I originally picked this up through the library and in this case, I loved it so much I immediately bought the first two! Even more excited when the third book came out this year! It’s a fantastic YA romance and YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE.


Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd

Review to come in March!

I dove into reading as many Christmas books as I could this year, and y’all. THIS WAS THE BEST. Enemies to lovers, office romance with a sunshine and a grump. Oh guys. Just trust me.


The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Review here!

Need a book to bring you to tears but also swoon over the love interest? LOOK NO FURTHER.


Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Review here!

la la la la la, this book made my month and year. What a golden debut book. Enemies to lovers, forced marriage, witches, IT’S ALL THERE.


Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End | Water’s Wrath | Crystal Crowned

I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. I already got the audio books (which BTW, on audible credit gets you ALL FIVE!!!!) so I can listen to them again. It’s magical, romantic and packed full of moments where Kova doesn’t care about killing off your favorite characters.


Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Review here!

One of the first book I read this (thank you Netgalley). This series is whimsical, magical, atmospheric and full of vibrancy. If you love Russian folklore, try this series out. It’s amazing.


The Stormlight Archive (Books #1 & #2) by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings | Words of Radiance

I started to read ALL of Brandon Sanderson’s books at the end of last year and can’t believe I waited this long to do so. They are massive fantasy books with some of the best world building I’ve ever read. Don’t let these behemoths scare you!


If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Review here!

Oh wow, this was a STUNNING book. A perfect YA contemporary. The MC has a character arc that was powerful and the cute romance thrown in was just the right touch.


Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Review here!

Sci-fi books by this powerhouse team are my weakness. The first book in this new series is no different. I even gave away a copy in a giveaway I love it so!

Some honorable mentions:

And I know a lot more, but we’ve already discussed that I can’t make these decisions very well. This is what I’ve narrowed it down to. What was one of your favorite books this year? Lets talk in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree (Merry Christmas Eve Y’all!)

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Best time of the year y’all! Merry Christmas Eve everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the holidays in whatever way you love best.

I confined myself to ONLY books that are already out that could truly appear under my tree. Oh how amazing that would be if it was all books.

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

This is on BOTH my husband’s and I’s list. We love this series! And specifically asked for it, so this is about the only one I can guarantee will hopefully be there.


The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

ONE OF MY TOP THREE FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR…but I only own it on Audible. And I would loooooove a physical hardcover of this beauty. READ IT. Here’s my review to convince you.


10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

I’m having realllllll bad FOMO over this book during the Christmas season. It just looks so cute!


My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir by Tia Torres

I am a HUGE fan of Pitbulls and Parolees. This would be a gem of non-fiction to read.


Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End | Water’s Wrath | Crystal Crowned

I JUST WANT TO PHYSICALLY OWN ALL OF THESE BOOKS. THEY’RE SO PRETTY AND IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE SERIES EVER.


The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale [read before blog] | The Girl in the Tower | The Winter of the Witch

Another series I would love to physically own. I read these through library/Netgalley and oh goodness. IT’S SO GOOD. So magical, heart-pounding and romantic. I need to re-read these.


Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell

I’ve had this sitting on my TBR since it came out, but’s a little lesser known so it’s unlikely I’ll find it at a library. Here’s to hoping it’s under my tree!


Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz

As someone who has a chronic illness/injury that nobody can see, I feel like I would feel alllll the things reading this.


Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Cute rom-com alert. This seems precious and magical and I’m here for it.


Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson

More Brandon Sanderson? No one should be surprised. I will read all of his books…eventually. I’ve heard this is amazing!

What books would you love under your tree? Do any of these happen to be on your list? Lets talk in the comments!

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

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Book Review

Book Review: Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

THIS IS JUST MY FAVORITE EVER OKAY?

I waited to read this book because I didn’t want this story to end.

I waited to write this review because I didn’t want to sign-off on my love for this series.

So now I’m sitting here, a few weeks after finishing Crystal Crowned still trying to put into words how much I love this series.

It had everything that I look for when it comes to a young adult fantasy novel. I got the romance (always y’all), battles, politics, friendships, magic, world-building and so much more that combined to make a stellar series. Crystal Crowned was no exception. It was an impressive finale.

VHALLDRIK FOREVER. I love Vhalla and Aldrik and they are without a doubt, my new OTP (hello Feysand, you now have someone tied with you). Their relationship grew and changed with them as time went on. They adapted and fought to be by each other’s side every dang time and I AM HERE FOR IT.

The magic system is intense, yet easy to follow. There were some small tidbits of other characters that popped in that had me connecting a thousand dots at once. I loved how it all came together! The villain was wicked and we got some back story on him which really brought him out as a character.

FRIENDSHIPS. Vhalla and Fritz, Elecia, Jax, etc. While yes, this is heavily flavored with romance, it is also very strong in friendships. The bonds formed between all of these characters make my heart MELT.

Vhalla remained strong, intelligent and fierce. Even when faced with some crazy odds and poor choices she persevered and endured. She has got to be one of my favorite heroines. I love that Vhalla never gave up for what she was fighting for. Yes, times got tough, but she continually strove to remember the peace she was seeking.

If you’ve ever thought about reading these, you should. I can’t wait to read the rest of Kova’s books because I don’t doubt I will obsess over them just as much as these.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: A handful of love scenes that are barely detailed and fade to black
  • Violence: demonic creatures and soldiers, elemental magic, physical, torture, swords, battle scenes; fairly gory
  • Trigger warnings: miscarriage

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Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Avoiding On My TBR and WHY

This is such a fun week! I’m excited about this topic and dove right into my TBR to find some books.

I found a list of books that I’m definitely hiding from for a myriad of reasons. Check them out below!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

WHY – I have heard great things about this middle grade series, but it’s also a LONG series and LONG books. And I just haven’t hit the mood of wanting to read them yet. I can get them all digitally from my library though which is a huge plus.


Eidolon (Wraith Kings #2) by Grace Draven

WHY – I really loved the first book, Radiance, and thought I’d dive right into the next one but never got the chance. Now I’m afraid I’ve waited too long and won’t love it like I want to. So there it sits on my TBR.


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

WHY – I have seen SO MANY CONFLICTING REVIEWS Y’ALL. Everything from 1 star I hated this, to 5 star this was amazing. Which is why I stare at it on my shelf and have yet to pick it up.


Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury

WHY – I am a mood reader. And I haven’t really been in the mood for a non-fiction. I picked this up for super cheap on Book Outlet and I really hope to get to this soon. It sounds interesting!


Hunting Prince Dracula & Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

WHY – I’m including these together since they’re by the same author. I have wanted to continue this series and binge the last two before Capturing the Devil came out. My library hasn’t gotten EFH yet though. And I’ve requested a few times without getting anywhere. They have the first two so I thought they would be cool with getting the third? UGH.


The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May

WHY – I’m not loving this series as much as I’ve seen other people. And since I’ve been reading it through the library it’s turned into an out of sight, out of mind book. I might eventually get to it, we’ll see.


Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova

WHY – Okay, it’s no secret around here. I LOVE THE AIR AWAKENS SERIES WITH MY WHOLE BOOKISH HEART. This is the next series and is a spin-off. Oh how I want to read it. Oh how I’m frightened to meet new characters and know I will compare it to Air Awakens.


The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell

WHY – After super enjoying The Last Magician, I was excited to get to The Devil’s Thief. Then I saw some reviews and people seem to hate the second book?! WHY. This makes me want to pick it up, and also hide from it.


Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

WHY – I LOVED BEARTOWN. And thought I would pick up book two immediately. I spoke to a Bookstagram friend about why she DNF this one. She mentioned that it was a bit repetitive if you read it right after Beartown (they go over everything that happens in book one). So for now I’m putting this away until I can’t remember Beartown quite enough to really love this one.

What books are you hiding from on your TBR? Are any of these on your list? Lets talk in the comments! Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

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Book Review

Book Review: Water’s Wrath (Air Awakens #4) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy romance
Length: 362 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Expected Release Date: April 24th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

DEAD.

I feel that is the only sentiment I can give this book. BECAUSE I’M DEAD. Kova? Not afraid to kill off characters. This isn’t the first one she killed in this series, and it probably won’t be the last. BUT STILL. My heart is broken. That entire section of the book was a moment. A gosh dang beautifully tragic moment.

Yet again, completely obsessed with Aldrik. This man is going on his own character turn around and I am HERE FOR IT. I also love that Vhalla doesn’t cut him any slack. They both pick up and encourage each other. And they hold each other to a higher standard. It’s amazing what this relationship has been turned into and I am so happy with the current outcomes. They are precious. I can literally not handle a single moment Vhalla and Aldrik spend together. I gush every dang time.

Vhalla. She is really becoming a top fav character of mine. She is resilient, and owns who she is. I love watching her learn to love herself. Vhalla has a lot of crap she deals with too and I’m curious where that will take us in book five. She treats those around her as best as she can and is passionate about bringing peace to her home.

I can’t keep up with the dangerous situations that are constantly being thrown out. Can no one catch a break?! I hurt for my team y’all. All of these characters have become so very precious to me and I can only cross my fingers that I get a happy ending. There’s been enough sadness! Though really, I feel a cementing of a top 5 favorite series every happening soon. Stay tuned.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: quite a bit and somewhat detailed; knives, elemental magic, descriptions of deaths off screen, torture, murder, loss of loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young adult fantasy + romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: February 11th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

BEST BOOK YET.

You know when you love a book SO MUCH that you can’t even form a coherent sentence let alone a whole review? This is what’s happening to my mind trying to put this together. Let me leave at least this one sentence here: I love this series with a crazy bookish passion and it has been the best series I’ve picked up in 2019 thus far (And I’m not even through with it yet).

I swear this series is out to destroy me. Though this much heart ache hopefully leads to the amazing reunion, happy ending I MUST HAVE. Sucker for happy endings. Give them allllll to me.

First and foremost, I am completely obsessed with Aldrik. He is a tortured soul with such deep pains and is struggling so much, and somehow still gives his heart to Vhalla. Every time they spoke I couldn’t handle how sweet his words were to her. HE LOVES HER SO MUCH.

Vhalla is a stellar character in her own right. I gave the first book (Air Awakens) 4 stars because I wasn’t convinced that I liked Vhalla, but figured there would be a major character arc brewing. And so far, so good! I love how passionate, stubborn, and full of strength she is. We also got to see her break to a very low point. This was raw and important for further moving her along in the story. It was a moment for her to dive deep and find her own way.

I do feel it pertinent to mention that this is a fantasy series with a heavy focus on the relationship between Vhalla and Aldrik. I love books like this, but I know others prefer a lot more components. And while this does have a lot of politics, battles and tense moments, it’s heavy on the focus for my OTP.

I love the friendships! Vhalla has her own little crew and all of the relationships have blossomed and flourished in their own ways. She has a support team and everyone actually enjoys each other’s company. Nobody annoys me. They all have a purpose and I know enough of their background that I’m going to be devastated if someone else dies (knock on wood).

This book kept me on my toes. I was never sure what was going to happen next. Would get a nice moment? Would someone else die? *Bonus: Kova is not afraid to kill off characters* Would all be okay?! ALL IS DEFINITELY NOT OKAY.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs, a few love scenes that are a little detailed, but mostly fades out; nothing explicit
  • Violence: swords, poison, battle scenes, loss of loved ones, elemental magic
  • Trigger warnings: alcoholism – used specifically to suppress feelings/emotions

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