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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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like in My Personal Library

Ohhhh this post hurts my heart.

Why?

BECAUSE I JUST WANT THESE BOOKS IN MY LIBRARY.

I am counting any books that I don’t physically own. A couple of these I have digitally or as an audio book. I really want the physical books so I can stare at the pretty covers all day.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End (5 stars – RTC) | Water’s Wrath (5 stars – RTC) | Crystal Crowned (5 stars – RTC)

I don’t think I will ever not shout about this series. IT’S AMAZING. AND THE COVERS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I only own these on my Kindle, and I desperately want them as physical books. Anyone want to do a book trade? (I am absolutely serious).


Arc of a Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman

Review for only the second book (third book will be out in November): Thunderhead

This series is INSANE and makes me worry every time I read about it. I never want a world like this, but I do love them as a book!


The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I have reviews for the last two books: The Girl in the Tower | The Winter of the Witch

OH MY GOODNESS. Top 10 favorite all-time series. And I read it from the library. All I want are these books y’all. Seriously.


The Bone Season Series by Samantha Shannon

I know this series is far from completion, but I really enjoyed binge reading these 2 years ago. Book four is hopefully being published in 2020. YAYAY.


Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

I only have reviews from the last two books: Crystal Storm | Immortal Reign

This was an amazing series! Lots of POV changes, ships sailing, trickery, death and tender moments. And I really love these covers.


Alexander Hamilton and Grant by Ron Chernow

Not gonna lie, the only reason I want these is proof I read two 1,000+ books in a month. These were also fantastic history books, but yes. I would love proof *shrugs*.


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire | The Well of Ascension | The Hero of Ages

My hubs and I both loved these so much that we want them for our personal library (we listened to them through Audible). We’re slowly growing our Sanderson library.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I LOVED THIS ROM-COM. It was the first one that really got me onto rom-coms. I have picked up a great handful since then.


The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone | Paper and Fire | Ash and Quill | Smoke and Iron

I am so excited for the last book!! This series is a bit different than I usually go for and it’s probably the reason I’ve really enjoyed it.


The Bridge Kingdom Series by Danielle L. Jensen

MY FAVORITE BOOK. AND I DON’T PHYSICALLY OWN IT. UGH. But, I’ve listened to it twice and flippin’ think it’s fantastic. So there’s that. You should read it too.

What books do you want for your library? Are any of these already on your shelves? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 359 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: November 19th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT KIND OF CLIFFHANGER?!

THAT WAS THE BIGGEST CLIFFHANGER I HAVE EVER READ. At least I think so, it’s the most recent one in my memory that had me literally buy the next book (YAY KINDLE) at that moment and read the first chapter to make sure I had a handle on what happened.

I’M NOT OKAY.

This book drew me in, loved me, THEN BROKE ME. I am so hooked by this series now.

The focus here is the love story. And I know that not everyone loves stories like that and I understand, but for me? ALL DAYYYYYY. I love love. Anywho, Aldrik and Vhalla just broke into my top five OTPs. I absolutely can’t get enough of their interactions and I was pretty sure this slow burn was going to be the end of me. It was slowww and so well built. By the time I actually got a kiss scene I squealed. That’s all I wanted y’all. Some declarations and some kissing. YES.

“My Vhalla, my lady, my love.”

There’s a lot more going on than this relationship (but am I honestly paying that much attention? Okay, not as much as I should). I am loving the politics of finding out more about the Emperor. His character is a bit of an enigma still. I want to know all the reasons he’s really trying to conquer the lands around him.

All of these side characters are amazing. I am devastated by some choices Kova made for them, but I will prevail. It’s too great of writing for me to be that upset. Everyone is easy to love (or hate) and I feel connected to the story through all of them. I love the roles everyone is playing and can’t wait to see those continue.

This book surprisingly takes place over a couple of weeks on the way to the battle. I didn’t even realize this because I was so focused on everyone else. I was entranced by this book and I’m pretty confident that Elise Kova is going to be an auto-buy author by the end of this.

HERE FOR IT ALL Y’ALL.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy (focus on romance)
  • Language: none (or maybe one word, but so little I didn’t notice)
  • Romance: some kisses/make-outs, sleeping in the same bed but actually sleeping, no sex scenes
  • Violence: knives, swords, a bit bloody, elemental magic, murder, loss of loved ones, poison

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I Would Love to be Best Friends With

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I would want to be friends with SO MANY CHARACTERS. Why aren’t any of them real!? (Not that I wouldn’t want be caught in their situations most of the time haha).

Below are a handful that came to mind when I wrote this post! I know there’s plenty more that will cross my mind before I even publish this. Lets talk in the comments about what character you’d love to be friends with!

Sevro – Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Okay, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with this Howler? Especially after just finished Dark Age I am so down for being besties with Sevro, ALWAYS.


Night Court – ACOTAR Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t even pick one. I want to be a part of this whole dang court. Fictional characters can be made real, right?


Fenrys – Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Honestly, I’d love to be friends with pretty much anyone in this cast, but Fenrys has a special place in my heart. I love him so much!


Kestral – The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I flippin’ love Kestral. She’s brave, kind, and amazingly smart. I love how her scheming mind.


Vhalla – Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

AH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I am almost finished with the last book and I can’t get enough of Vhalla. I would love to be her best friend. She’s seriously the best.


Lira – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Quite frankly, I just want to be best friends with a mermaid. That is all.


Elizabeth Bennett – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I think I would have an absolute ball being friends with Elizabeth. She is a kindred spirit in many ways.


Spensa – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Not only would I love to have Spensa watching my back, her friends M-Bot and Doomslug would be the most amazing side kicks ever. I love them all.


Annabeth Chase – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I need Annabeth keeping me in line and not letting me get away with anything. We all need a friend like that.


Kazi – Dance of Thieves Duology by Mary E. Pearson

I am obsessed with Kazi as a person and would love nothing more than to be her sister. We would be as thick as thieves.

Fictional characters need to be real. I could use some friends like this in my life! What about you? Are any of these on your list? Who would you want to be friends with?

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