Book Review

Review: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Sara Holland
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 31st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The New York Times bestselling series!

Jules Ember confronts the girl who is both her oldest friend and greatest enemy in the highly anticipated sequel to Everless, praised by New York Times bestelling author Stephanie Garber as “an intoxicating blend of blood, secrets, and haunting mythology.” 

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.

Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kiera Cass, and Kendare Blake, Evermore is the high-stakes, star-crossed follow up to the New York Times bestselling Everless that fans have been waiting for.

MUCH TO BE DESIRED.

It almost pains me to give this book such a low rating because I loved the first book so much. This one however, left too much to be desired.

Jules Ember is not the sharpest tool in the shed. For a heroine who is trying to avoid the Sorceress and the law in general I don’t think it’s wise to let everyone know who you are. She was constantly going to places and events and letting everyone know her plans. Of course she was found!? Jules also kept sending mixed messages to everyone. She’d spit angry things at them, then turn around and basically shout her feelings at her friends/lover.

Liam is the only reason I hung onto this book. I loved his character from Everless. This was a total annihilation of his persona. “His face reddened” more times than I could count. Love struck fool was not a good look on him. It was rushed in comparison to how he treated Jules previously. Though, he was almost the real hero because he repeatedly saved Jules from her own mistakes. It was an odd, off-balanced pairing.

The original book captured my attention because of the blood as time and currency concept. I’ve seen other reviews that mentioned this isn’t totally new (in my case, I haven’t read others like this yet) so I was intrigued! It made things a bit twisted and confusing [in a good way]. Evermore never brought this into play. There was only mentions on the side about others doing using this alchemy.

All of Jules visions were throwing me off big time. They would come at random moments (That’s So Raven anyone?) and not make total sense. It was interrupting the flow of the plot itself. At least the last vision answered a lot of the questions I was stumped on about the actual relationship between The Alchemist and The Sorceress.

Lastly, I profoundly loathe obvious, cliche moments. Pure love conquers pure evil y’all. *sigh*

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Romance: a few kisses, one loosely implied love scene
  • Violence: knives, a bit of blood, murder
Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: YA regency/paranormal, no language, a little romance, violence
Length: 527 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal. 

I JUST…WHAT…No.

Y’all, I started skimming. And we all know, that’s never a good sign. Oh why did this book [mostly] let me down!? I’m a little bitter to be honest. There were some flaws I couldn’t look past. I had a good time, and I’m glad I finished this series. All together it was well done, this last book didn’t seal the deal as well as I’d hoped.

I’m going to try to remain as vague as possible as to not spoil this book for others. I dare say, almost all of my initial inklings were correct in regards to who was what and when. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists, but had gathered most of the facts through book two. I wish it would have been all out in the open WAY earlier than it was. The grand reveal [solid pun] is not til literally 90% of the way through this book.

The “love triangle” was so forced, and it has left me feeling sour. Lord Carlston is one of my top book beaus, and I am appalled at how he was treated! And the resolve was two paragraphs. NO NO NO. I wanted this to go a hundred different ways, but instead, Helen was over-thinking the tiniest things and made me completely aggravated at her choices. She’s better than that. And Carlston deserved an actual thought out ending. Not scraps.

The magic system went a little haywire for me and was pushed to its limitations to get a big finale of an action scene. It was fine. I mostly understood what was happening. The initial construct could have been left as is.

There was entirely too much repetition in this book. Of concepts, ideas, conversations, the book could have been 100+ pages shorter without this. I could live peacefully without ever hearing the words: Grand Deceiver, Grand Reclaimer and Ligatus again. Helen was too focused on all of the wedding drama and not her Dark Days Club work so it was a drag. I don’t care about your wedding dress, Helen.

Okay, I went and read this again and it looks like I hated this book. This unfortunately is how I feel literally after finishing it. Some things I did love though were the romance-y things between Helen and Carlston…when they happened. I truly enjoyed the side characters: Darby, Quinn, Hammond, Sprat, even Pike had me feelings things! I love all of the historical aspects that are taken into account to ensure the best accuracy. This was a good series and one I am still happy that I read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal [demons]/regency
  • No language
  • Romance: a few chaste kisses
  • Violence: physical, knives, gore
  • Trigger warnings: talking about miscarriage, infanticide, murder
Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: YA regency/paranormal, very little language, some romance, violence
Length: 496 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

I WILL RIOT.

I thoroughly believe Goodman won’t let me down. The Duke is totally the Grand Deceiver (my personal opinion, not a spoiler because I have no actual idea) and this whole forcible nature he takes on drives me crazy. HELEN SAID NO, WHY CAN YOU NOT RESPECT THE NO. Men. Sheesh.

Also let’s talk Delia, why is she in this book? She’s too sly for me. I haven’t liked her from day 1. So she’s in on the GD business with Selburn (The Duke). I stand by this assumption. Speaking of people I don’t like, y’all, I hate Lady Margaret. She’s petty, jealous and throws tantrums like my toddler. I was pleased when she dropped out of the back half of this book practically.

“Amore mio.”

Just STAHHHP. If your heart didn’t feel like bursting when this happened. Don’t even tell me. Because mine did. I’m obsessed with Lord Carlston (and subsequently watched Pride & Prejudice because Darcy). His dark, brooding, protective nature has me swooning. And he actually thinks Helen is a capable woman. I live for this slow-burn.

“Yes,” he said, unnecessarily. Was he, too, looking for the chance to touch? Maybe they both wanted to play with fire.”

What’s also the best? How many balls are attended. I thought it very clever how much dancing + eloquent verbal warfare was occurring throughout the book. I love all things regency and this is so great. Goodman has clearly done her research and I love the author’s note at the end that explains the “characters” that are historical figures. I’m impressed by the way she’s added in this Deceiver realm to London 1812.

This book does start off a bit slow (which was my main reasoning for 4*). I marked in my notes that at 55% we still hadn’t fought any demons, or done much of anything besides make threats and plans. Not long after that point, everything picks up. Though, Helen could gain more of a back bone. I think she bothers me sometimes because of the time period so I can’t fault the author for this. It’s really very well to the time period. Helen is continually struggling with being a woman in a man’s world (true I do feel this way now sometimes). Things were more complicated back then for that kind of stuff so I wanted Helen to buck-up and not do the right thing and actually voice her concerns.

Tiny tid-bit. I’m low key obsessed with Darby and Quinn. They are so precious and I hope they get a happy ending too. Darby is one of my favorite side characters. She is faithful to Helen like no other.

“In my experience, life is always a question of courage. Which way do we run when we see danger: away from it, or toward it?”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal [demons], regency
  • A little language
  • Violence: physical, knives, guns, demons
  • Romance: an intense kiss
  • Trigger warnings: intense descriptions of brothels, torture, grief
Book Talk

Name Change!

AT LAST.

I have a name I actually like and can get behind.

I really didn’t like Book Reviews On the Run. I originally intended to combine my loves of reading and running into a blog, but the more I played with it the more I liked keeping it as a book based blog only.

Then I had an epiphany last night! My last name (Goodey) provides a much more clever name. So there ya go.

I’m excited for this change and to really work on flourishing my blog. Thank you to my followers!

Happy reading!

–C.R. Goodey

Book Review

The Queen and the Cure (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon

Queen and Cure

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: YA, no language, a love scene, kisses, violence
Length: 342 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Independently published
Release Date: May 1st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be. 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

ALL GOOD THINGS.

I forgot how much I LOVE AMY HARMON BOOKS. She’s not super well known, so hopefully this review will convince you to read her books. Emotional torture is her strong suit and she does great fantasies and contemporaries.

This particular book is a fantasy romance. YAAAAAS. Sometimes that’s what kind of book you need in your life. There was angst, tears, love, guilt, and courage.

I couldn’t put it down and it had me from the first chapter, especially since this was book two. I already knew and loved these characters.

Kjell is a cinnamon roll who melts my soul every time he talks. A fierce warrior who is more tender than he knows what to do with. Watching him with Sasha will make you swoon.

While you can see the twist coming, you don’t see the fullness of it. Even I was stunned for a second trying to figure out where we were going. The ending was blissfully what you need.

A YA+ book with no language. Light descriptions of naked people (when Changers shift they have no clothes). A soft, tastefully scripted love scene. Some kissing and make-out scenes. Occasional violence.

 

Book Review

Review: Sapphire Blue (Precious Stones Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue

Rating: 3.5/5
Audience: YA, very little language, a kiss scene or two, a little violence
Length: 357 pages
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: January 5th, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking fora bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BETTER THAN THE FIRST.

I have figured out some issues I have with this book, which the book comments on itself. Go figure. INSTA-LOVE. How are you this madly in love with someone in a day? You even think you’re crazy?! So while that’s silly, there was more intrigue between the two.

In my heart of hearts, I know Gideon cares, even if he didn’t mean to originally. This helps, because boy, he is MEAN. Gwen needs to put him in his place if you ask me. Maybe that’ll be rectified in the next installment.

We all know the Count is evil, but can SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT THE SECRET IS? I figured I’d find out in this book, but I didn’t. So now I’m waiting for the third book so I can understand. You only get the basest idea about where it’s all going.

Xemerius is arguably the best part of the book. While Lesley is annoying and seems to know-it-all, Xemerius makes you love his sassy self.

My other big issue is you really don’t get a feel for any characters. There’s not enough back story that helps you love or hate them. Everyone is rather neutral, and rather vague, about everything.

True YA, with very very little language. No romantic scenes, just some kissing here and there. Minor violence.

Book Review

Review: Ruby Red (Precious Stones Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red

 

Rating: 3.5/5
Audience: YA, no language, a kiss scene or two, a little violence
Length: 324 pages
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: January 6th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

A TAD NAIVE.

I had multiple people recommend this to me, but it also had the unfortunate luck of following after reading my favorite series, so it lacked a bit. It’s an interesting story line enough that I will be reading the second book.

Gwyneth, while almost 17, acts closer to 14 most of the time. All of the time travel must truly be scattering her brain because she could definitely be more intelligent in some scenes. Her character does get better though. Towards the end as she understood what was happening she acted more mature about it all. I don’t love this narrative style where she comments on her own thoughts too often.

Since I personally haven’t figured out the ending, I’m going to keep reading them. I think the second book has the chance to build upon a unique world. As Gideon and Gwyneth have the chance to explore their friendship, I hope we get more of them.

There are A LOT of side characters with the time travel. It’s a bit to keep up with, but luckily there is a glossary of names at the back if you occasionally forgot who was who (whoops!).

The evil hasn’t fully presented itself either. There’s hints as to who the bad group is, yet have no way of knowing if that’s true or not. I hope I’m wrong, because I’m always down for a good plot twist.

The action picks up about half-way through and is a super quick read. There is no language, and only a kiss scene. Some violence (rather unexpected, go team for throwing me a little!).