Book Review

Book Review: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance
Length: 470 pages
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Self-published
Expected Release Date: February 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A queen now in exile as a traitor, Lara has watched Ithicana be conquered by her own father, helpless to do anything to stop the destruction. But when she learns her husband, Aren, has been captured in battle, Lara knows there is only one reason her father is keeping him alive: as bait for his traitorous daughter.

And it is bait she fully intends to take.

Risking her life to the Tempest Seas, Lara returns to Ithicana with a plan not only to free its king, but for liberating the Bridge Kingdom from her father’s clutches using his own weapons: the sisters whose lives she spared. But not only is the palace inescapable, there are more players in the game than Lara ever realized, enemies and allies switching sides in the fight for crowns, kingdoms, and bridges. But her greatest adversary of all might be the very man she’s trying to free – the husband she betrayed.

With everything she loves in jeopardy, Lara must decide who – and what – she is fighting for: her kingdom, her husband, or herself.

WHAT A CONCLUSION.

Ooooooooh my goodness. I’ve never listened to an audio book faster y’all. I downed this book so fast. I have been waiting for this and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I can continue to be Danielle Jensen’s unofficial spokeswoman for this series. BECAUSE I LOVE IT THAT MUCH.

You could literally hear my thoughts as Lara rounded up her sisters to go save Aren. AND IT WAS A THRILL RIDE. Oh those women danced their way into the harem and took what they came for. There was me on the sidelines cheering them on because I live for action like that. I’m getting all amped up just writing this review.

I had a lot of questions going into this book. All were answered in the best ways. My heart is soaring that I got a conclusion that actually wraps up the lines it needs too. BUT, it definitely leaves open some lines for spin-off books. The side characters in TTQ are a song on their own. I found myself smitten with so many of them. Siblings, family members, generals of armies; they all played distinct and proficient rolls.

This romance was still sizzling. I loved the build-up. I knew things had to work out, yet time and again I was led to believe otherwise. That’s how invested I was. Jensen’s writing is captivating and the audio version is one of the best books I’ve listened too. Aren and Lara kept me waiting, and waiting, and then BAM. Room set aflame, y’all. Room set aflame.

The stress levels I felt listening to Lara and Aren try to work things out between them, deciding if they wanted/could be with each other, trying to save a kingdom and kill a king, was on another level. I could keep rambling about how much I love this duology. The Bridge Kingdom is still my favorite, but this was a conclusion that delivered.

AND DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT ENDING. I truly gasped and almost started sobbing right then and there. Jensen knows how to tug on those heart strings and beg for a happy ending.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses; one detailed love scene
  • Violence: sharks, swords, poison, physical, torture, captivity

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Book Review

Book Review: Defy the Fates (Constellation #3) by Claudia Gray

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult sci-fi + romance
Length: 470 pages
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hunted and desperate.

Abel only has one mission left that matters: save the life of Noemi Vidal. To do that, he not only has to escape the Genesis authorities, he also must face the one person in the galaxy who still has the means to destroy him. Burton Mansfield’s consciousness lives on, desperate for a home, and Abel’s own body is his last bargaining chip.

Alone in the universe.

Brought back from the brink of death, Noemi Vidal finds Abel has not only saved her life, but he’s made her into something else, something more. Not quite mech, yet not quite human any longer, Noemi must find her place in a universe where she is utterly unique, all while trying to create a world where anyone–even a mech–can be free.

The final battle between Earth and the colony planets is here, and there’s no lengths to which Earth won’t go to preserve its domination over all humanity. But together, the universe’s most advanced mech and its first human-mech hybrid might have the power to change the galaxy for good.

LOVE THESE AUDIO BOOKS.

I seriously adored these audio books. If you’ve been wanting to try audio books out I highly recommend this series as a good point to go from. I love the way the narration and characters were articulated and it had an easy listening flow.

Once again the galaxy at large is in turmoil and Noemi and Abel are the only two who can save everyone. I love the intense action scenes and moments of not knowing where things were going next. Occasionally I felt that it was repetitive to the previous two books in that the same conflict kept repeating itself, but it wasn’t an outstanding issue.

Having Mansfield as a truly awful villain was great. I love how twisted and corrupt he truly was and that that NEVER changed. He never gave up his idea of essentially playing God and how heinous that can make someone. Mansfield and his daughter really could use a reality check [and I’m happy they got one].

The romance between Noemi and Abel was sweet as ever. Their relationship never tried to be more than it was. I liked the wholesome level it stayed with and that they had to communicate and discuss the tough subjects between them. By fighting for each other, and their home it created a tight bond that no ship could destroy.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy sci-fi + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: ship explosions, physical, guns

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Book Review

Book Review: Bid My Soul Farewell (Give the Dark My Love #2) by Beth Revis

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: September 24th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The stunning finale of the epic fantasy duology from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.

Alchemy student turned necromancer Nedra Brysstain has made a life-changing decision to embrace the darkness–but can the boy who loves her bring her back to the light before she pays the ultimate price?

Lunar Island is trying to heal. The necromantic plague that ravaged the land has been eradicated, and Emperor Auguste, the young and charming leader of the Allyrian Empire, has a plan: rid the island of necromancy once and for all. Though Greggori “Grey” Astor wants what’s best for his people, he knows that allying himself with Auguste threatens the one person he loves most: necromancer Nedra Brysstain. Feeling like he already failed to save Nedra once, Grey becomes determined to help the Emperor rebuild Lunar Island while still keeping Nedra safe from harm.

Back at the quarantine hospital, Nedra’s army of revenants are growing increasingly inhuman by the day. Wracked with guilt for imprisoning their souls, Nedra vows to discover a way to free the dead while still keeping her sister by her side.

But, still reeling from the trauma of the plague, the people of Lunar Island are looking for someone to blame, and Grey can only protect Nedra for so long. And when Nedra and Grey are thrust into a battle with an even more terrifying adversary, Nedra will be pushed to the darkest depths of her necromantic powers. But can Grey let her go that far? 

A GOOD DUOLOGY.

A good conclusion! I liked that this duology was darker and heavier than most. It was a change a pace from the normal young adult fantasy books I happen to read. The beginning and ending were solid, it was the middle that dragged this book down.

I’m not even sure what the point of the middle was? Gray was doing his own thing trying to help his land. Then we have Nedra totally focused on helping her sister. Yet, in all of that, it didn’t strengthen the plot like I think it was supposed to. Instead I felt it dragged. So much so that I had a hard time keeping focused on the audio book waiting for something more interesting to happen.

The relationship between Nedra and Gray had me happy sometimes, and flustered at others. I enjoyed seeing them actually talk their problems out and discuss deeper intentions and fears. It was nice to see that in a YA relationship (frankly any for that matter). This was good. What was bad was that I felt Nedra didn’t treat Gray all that well. She was SO DANG FOCUSED ON ONE TASK that it became too much. We saw a side of someone being wholly consumed by grief and it was hard to watch. Gray’s focus was Nedra. Nedra’s focus was death.

I was never sure the romantic aspect was necessary. The second book helped highlight why it was there. I think Nedra had to figure out on her own that there was hope and love in letting go of the past.

There were still some twists in this book that I should have seen coming but am content that I was surprised. The ending wrapped up well and things actually had a conclusion. Even better there was a bit of an epilogue to let the story ride off into the sunset.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, a little detailed fade to black love scene
  • Violence: lots of death, bringing people back to life, very bloody and gory

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Book Talk

Bookish Discussion: How I Read 10+ Books A Month

For the past few months whenever I have posted my monthly wrap-ups I get a few comments and DMs (through Instagram) asking and exclaiming about how many books I read a month. I honestly don’t realize how many books I get through until the end of the month. I *try* to not let numbers be the forefront of the reason I read. I see people read more than I do so I always think I’m somewhere in the middle.

Thinking about all of this had me pondering a post about some tips and tricks that help me reach higher monthly totals.

But first, I will acknowledge I’m a medium-fast reader. This alone helps on it’s own and is not what I’m addressing here. Everyone reads at their own pace and there is nothing wrong with that. I also am blessed to be able to stay home with my child. This definitely influences how much I can read.

Always a book in my hand.

Books have become a bit of a comfort item for me. I never like to not have one around because I never know when there might be a chance to read. Purchasing a book sleeve was the best idea because I throw my book in there and can be on the go. I read in lines, waiting for appointments, sitting in the car, etc.

I am hooked on audiobooks.

They’re not for everyone, but if you haven’t given them a chance I would highly recommend them! Maybe try listening to an already favorite book of yours and see if you enjoy hearing stories over reading them.

I am sitting here now listening to The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson). I listen to audio books in the car, while working out, doing chores, writing blog posts, playing with my toddler, anything.

Paying attention to the time I spend on social media and watching TV.

I set a timer on my phone that wont allow me to access Instagram once I’ve spent a certain amount of time on there. BEST DECISION. Another great choice? You can pause notifications from Insta which helps me not pull it up constantly. If I’m not getting a notification, I don’t feel as compelled to scroll.

I don’t have a Twitter account and I don’t really use my Facebook account (I don’t even have the app). Social media can be a big deterrent from picking up a book instead. Lowering the amount I spend on here helps me mentally, but also, I’m able to pick up books more.

Since I have a child I am very aware how much we keep the TV on. We usually don’t even turn it on until the afternoon. I’m able to play audio books or read to them rather than us sitting on the couch watching TV.

Kindle (digital) books are my friend.

I used to NEVER read digital books. Not until I started reading Netgalley’s from time to time. But, I’ve realized that with children I can’t always have a book out. It’s grabbed from my hands, pages ripped, things thrown on it (or the book thrown itself). It drove me crazy, so I got my digital library app and WOW. It’s amazing.

I am devouring digital books like they’re candy. It’s so easy to read because the book is attached to you (we all know our phones are with us pretty much always).

I take what I can get.

Have a few minutes before I leave? Read a few pages.

Toddler playing quietly on their own? Read a few pages.

Quick errand to the store? Listen to a few pages.

There’s a lot more chances to read during the day than you might notice. Over the course of the day I can sometimes get 50+ pages read. By the time the family is asleep and I’m reading on my own I’ve already read a chunk of my book.

I hope you found this helpful, but please take from it what you want! These are purely what I do to help me read more.

What helps you read more? Do you ever feel like you aren’t reading enough? Lets talk in the comments!

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