Book Review

Book Review: These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 464 pages
Author: Lexi Ryan
Publisher: HMH
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

READ IT.

Did I think I would be saying that when I started reading this book? No. BUT Y’ALL. Let me convince you to read it too.

THV has been touted as an ACOTAR/TCP (The Cruel Prince) mash-up. I know this may be a bad thing to some, but for me it made me love it allllll the more. Many books claim to be like those classic fae reads, and I love that this one ACTUALLY DELIVERED on that fact. It gives all the vibes you could hope for, with being its own story, and that’s what I’m here for.

Hello a love triangle I can handle. This was written beautifully. Even if I made my pick once the second love interest came onto the page, I still felt drawn both ways. I had to yell a few times at the book of course, but by that ending, all things became clear and I will not hear further commentary and WHO BRIE SHOULD BE WITH.

I loooove the strong sister bond here too. Brie is a fierce force of nature who will do whatever she needs to do in order to save her sister. I love her passion and strength. Those closing scenes had me fist pumping at her bad-a self and I can not wait to see her revenge in the next book.

There’s gossipy goblins and curses. Twists and turns with plenty of action. Soft and subtle moments that will bring the swoon. Goodness, I just adored this book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, loss of parents and loved ones, indentured servitude, poisoning, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 363 pages
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 19th, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

DISAPPOINTED.

I was really excited to start this book because I’ve heard great things about it. It seemed liked a great fae book with a swoony romance.

And maybe the later books are like that, but this was not the case here. The best portion was the fact that there were lots of faeries. I love all things fae and loved being in that fantasy world again. The addition of Meghan going back and forth between the fae lands and human lands was no good. I like being immersed in one world or the other. Moving between the two takes me out of the world building and story itself.

I think I would have also appreciated the romance more if I was enjoying the book more. It didn’t come about til after the second half when I was already waning on my cares for the plot. Then things between Megan and Ash ramped up quickly without enough moments for me to ship them.

Even more so, the ending happened so fast!! All of a sudden this evil guy was gone, Megan was home, brother rescued. I’m not even sure where the story is going from here frankly. Or if I will be finding out.

I really wanted to love Megan as a character. And I did for a time. I understood her being confused, messing things up and trying to figure the new world out. But then, she spent the rest of the book being rescued…over and over and over again. Not to mention, they traveled the entire book too. Which I always find kind of dry on its own.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: some throughout
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: swords, magic, beast attacks, guns

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Book Review

Book Review: A Kingdom of Exiles (Outcasts #1) by S.B. Nova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 600 pages
Author: S.B. Nova
Publisher: Night Owl Publishing
Release Date: December 17th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The brightest of stars are always born on the darkest of nights.

Serena Smith is unusual.

Growing up in a backwoods village, her life is lonely and dull. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she’s gifted a magical heirloom only to be snatched by fae and condemned to a lifetime in chains.

Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena discovers a forbidden love, and meets fellow outcasts, each with their own dark secrets.

As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they find a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s unique gifts, can they survive long enough to build the flames of a revolution. Only together can they go to war …

DID SOMEONE SAY FAE?

Yes, I come running to a book when I hear that. And this was no different, and was a great read!

Oooo boy, finally finished this one. I read it through Amazon Prime so I didn’t pay attention to the page count, did you know this book is 600 pages? NEITHER DID I. Yet, somehow, I consistently found myself wanting to come back and read this. I would put it down to read a few chapters from another book and wouldn’t feel as invested because I wanted to dive into this story more. Yes it’s long, but it somehow feels like everything was a necessary piece of the puzzle.

I would desperately like to know who Serena’s mate is though y’all. WHO WHO WHO…who. There was kind of a roulette situation happening with multiple fae where I was convinced each time, oh this is her endgame, and then was thrown off that to someone else! I still have no inkling. The romance in this book is a bit all over the place. Her relationship (that’s supposed to be family based) seems way more than that. The one that was more romantic, didn’t have me really shipping them, AND I’m JUST LOST. If you can’t tell by my rambling sentences.

Serena is definitely a work in progress. Since this is only the first book, I am totally cool with not LOVING her character, but seeing where she can go. I wish she could do a little more for herself, yet I see that she needed to form all of the bonds because she was dealt a crappy hand in the human world. This allowed her to have friendships and people truly close to her.

I love the bit of squad goals we had with Serena’s pack. Frazer (LOVE HIM) needs to be my best friend. I would love him so! I love the team dynamics and the protectiveness that forms through the trials they go through at the military training camp.

The setting and world-building is a bit confusing at times. I really wasn’t grasping the view of the world until way deeper into the book (and a thorough read through of the map). I love maps, but feel like when I’m reading the book itself I shouldn’t have to keep checking back to confirm where I am. The story should be able to narrate that.

Some of the twists near the end had me stunned. I genuinely didn’t see them coming. I thought the lead up was great and can’t wait to get the villain on screen.

I also spent some time looking up information on the next book and stumbled upon the fact that this is supposed to be a four book series. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT THAT LONG.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: strong language throughout
  • Romance: some kisses, one detailed love scene
  • Violence: magical, physical, skirmishes, arrows, poison, murder
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault (unwanted touching, Ch. 2)

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Book Review

Book Review: The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young adult historical fantasy
Length: 378 pages
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read. 

FAE. FAE. AND MORE FAE.

I’m really into anything with faeries y’all. I don’t know why. Maybe all that mystical-ness and gorgeous selves makes me have to pick it up. Either way, that’s my original intention when I grabbed this at the library.

This was fun! I wouldn’t say I thought it was spectacular, but it did get better and better as I went along. I loved the vibe of the world the author built. It was historical 1844 Edinburgh, but with a steampunk aesthetic. They had little devices to dispense tea/punch, others to create stitches and even a version of a helicopter.

Hot dang, I was almost upset about a love triangle, at present, there is none! And therefore, I can be alllll over Kiaran and Aileana. This is definitely a slow burn romance. I’m loving their banter and affinity towards each other.

They’re a lot of typical aspects to this novel. A fierce, warrior fae who’s handsome and brooding. The girl who’s in society, but secretly is a chosen-one type to help save the lands. She’s fueled by the death of her mother, etc. While this was a little eh, the different influences of everything else made this book worth the read.

A lot of secrets were left out for the next book. It was often chalked up to the fae “not answering” because they can’t lie kinda thing. I’m intrigued and interested because it seems each book is stronger than the previous. This is great, standard YA that I love to read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fantasy
  • Language: damn is used often, but that’s it
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: knives, explosions, a bit gory physical, faerie magic, guns