Book Review

Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy + Sci-fi
Length: 395 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

PRETTY GOOD.

This book took me for a loop. I think part of the problem was that I did choose to listen to it as an audio book. This can be kind of hard sometimes with fantasies because establishing the world and people and everything else takes time and when you’re thrown into while listening, some things can get missed.

The further that this book went on though, the more I really caught on to everything and started to enjoy it.

This is a crazy different world than I’ve read in fantasies for awhile. People who are part dragon, human, a mix of both, many different colors with many different powers, it was awesome! I love how unique it was and that there’s so much to learn from their world.

Cvareh and Ari are a sight to behold. Enemies to lovers in some of the best ways. Maybe a little rushed into actually wanting each other’s company, but nothing has truly happened yet so I’m on board. I loved their banter and interactions. It took so much from each of them to realize the story from the other’s perspective. Once some communication and secrets were told, things started really clicking with them.

I love having Florence as another POV too. I’m not sure of her true purpose yet but her young voice added a softer side to the story. I adored watching her and Cvareh form a relationship. He really took to her and in taking care of her saved Florence’s life.

Intense and enigmatic, this fantasy kept me busy. I think the differences in cultures, opinions and ideals will factor in even further as the drama unfolds.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: a little light (witch is used a few times)
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: clawing out of hearts, knives, guns, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: Imber (Thanatos Trilogy #1) by Tyffany Hackett

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + romance
Length: 422 pages
Author: Tyffany Hackett
Publisher: Archangel Publishing
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The locks are failing.

The keys are calling.

The Titans are waking.

Crowned before her time, nineteen-year-old Natylia is thrust into an unpleasant reality—her people don’t want her, her family doesn’t need her and, despite her best efforts, she can’t seem to shake an incorrigible suitor. But when rumors begin to swirl throughout her kingdom the young queen shifts her focus and realizes that the world she loves could be destroyed in an instant.

An ancient enemy, long thought gone, is trying to return.

Forgotten legends have resurfaced, stories that tell of three scepters: the keys to unleashing these foul beings. Across Araenna the hunt rages for this trio of formidable power—to command the keys is to hold the power of mortal gods.

Aided by her snarky elven bodyguard, an unassuming blacksmith, and a clever nature witch, Natylia races to correct the mistakes of the past… before they can destroy her people’s future.

KEPT ME ENTERTAINED.

Which is saying something. I constantly felt like picking this book up and continuing the story. It had the right kind of magic for me to really enjoy. The pacing was good throughout and the flow was steady with waves of action and lighter moments.

Nataylia was a great main character. I love that she was strong and brave, but had her faults. She felt more real and like an actual human. Not a pretty much perfect Princess turned Queen who’s hard to love. Her motives are for the betterment of her people and Nataylia is fueled by her love for her friends and family.

The romance was a bit of a miss for me. Namely because I had my eyes on a different character for Nataylia. And it wasn’t even a love triangle, I apparently saw a lot of chemistry between her and Jyn and am still accepting that she’s with Camion. I do love Camion though. He’s a sweet, caring cinnamon roll who needs a hug. One of my favorite kinds of book boyfriends. Their relationship is adorable and pure so I’m slowly building a ship for them and I’ll decide if I want it to sail during book two.

The magic system is broad, yet well explained. I understood the information and loved the adventure Nataylia and her cohorts had to go on to find one of these magic scepters. There’s a lot of action as they traverse through catacombs and dungeons, with a heavy dose of magical creatures standing in their way. It kept me on edge because I was wholly convinced someone was not walking out of there alive.

A great fantasy that needs a bigger audience. I’m grateful that I saw a friend recommend this because she has never steered me wrong in book choices! I’m excited for the next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: magic, murder, swords, animal/creature attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
Length: 560 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City. 

THIS WAS A SOLID FINALE.

I was nervous walking into this read. Excited, but nervous. Archenemies let me down and I have all the love for Renegades. Combine these two polar thoughts and I had no idea what I was walking into for Supernova.

I ended up really loving this. I wouldn’t call it a FIVE STAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW. More of as I closed the book I realized how much I enjoyed it and my favorite pieces. I thought about how everything came together in the end and how I was cool with everything as it wrapped up (not to mention that EPILOGUE Y’ALL).

My favorite thing about this was the character arcs for Nova and Adrian. They both were coming at the story from opposing sides. As they battled each other and all the secrets started spilling out I got a glimpse into new sides of them. Nova learned that her Uncle’s ideals weren’t all they were cracked up to be, just like she learned that the Renegades weren’t the enemy. Adrian finally found the truth of his Mom’s murder and to let go of some of his own ideals to see the story from another angle. It gave me all the chills watching them. This wasn’t purely superheroes vs. villains, because who can truly define those anyways?

I love that there was actual wickedness. I love a solid evil character who can’t see past their own desires. It makes everything feel that much more dire and puts me on the edge of my seat. I said multiple times, and even wrote it in my notes, that I had no idea how I was going to get a happy ending by the time this was over. There were even a few twists that I did not see coming and loved how they tied into the final plot.

The love story never took over, but did encourage Nova and Adrian through a few of their decisions. I like that is was held back, but that I got to see it flourish. They both deserved some happiness, and if it’s with each other, that’s great [a nod to Ruby & Oscar who were TOTALLY STINKIN’ PRECIOUS in the background over there].

The ending was fascinating and heartfelt. I really like what became of the characters and their super powers. I thought it could have gone one of two ways, and I would have been fine with either [depending on how it was done]. Meyer’s writing is amazing though and it’s so quick to read. Yes, it’s 550 pages, but you would never know it. I can’t wait to see what project she is working on next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few light kisses
  • Violence: murder, battles, skirmishes, building collapses
  • Trigger warnings: Chapter 30 – a character talks about being previously molested as a child

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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: Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld #1) by Emma Hamm

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance + Retelling
Length: 350 pages
Author: Emma Hamm
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 26th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Beauty and the Beast meets Irish Mythology in this sweeping retelling of the beloved fairytale….

Once upon a time…

A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne.

Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools.

With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.

This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart. 

A GREAT RETELLING.

I definitely think this is one of the better retellings of Beauty and the Beast that I’ve read.

This really followed the flow of B&TB. I could definitely tell what scenes were being recreated and the plot line it was going for. I enjoyed this take on it because of that fact. I liked seeing how someone else interpreted the story (and adding fae is ALWAYS good). This was full of faeries and the romance was kicked up to a much steamier vibe.

The romance felt a *tiny* bit insta-love at first. It came off as mostly lust and I was worried how that was going to affect the story. Never fear, the way that Sorcha and Eamonn built their relationship after some initial contact was fantastic. I loved the enemies to lovers type banter, the slow tender moments they had, that all led to a partnership that I ship.

Sorcha as a character was amazing. Her role as a healer gave focus to her decisions and mindset. I liked how firm she was on HER choices and that she never gave up on her original intentions for seeking out the fae. There was no wishy-washy character here. Sorcha was a lovely and strong heroine.

Eamonn was the beast. And that sentence is wholly accurate. His role was exactly how I expected it and I LOVED seeing the small things he started doing for Sorcha purely to make her happy. Ohhhhh so cute y’all.

The story itself was well put together and I thought the plot had everything it needed. There was a point and reasoning behind choices and I never had to ask why. I love the way the fae were woven into everything and I love all things faerie in general.

I’m definitely interested in continuing this duology (and the other books in this universe). This was a self-published book and I LOVE finding these kind of gems.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance + retelling
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: some kisses, make outs, one moderately detailed love scene
  • Violence: physical, magic, skirmishes with swords, a creepy blood beetle epidemic

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBR!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I’m not quite sure what we’re counting as winter, but these are the books I’d like to get through by…February? Sure, February works! It’s definitely still cold then.

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War 1 by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

As per my last Top Ten Tuesday post I’m trying to read some Christmas books this year and I just picked this up from the library! I’ve been hearing great things and can’t wait to read it.


ARC: Entwined Paths (Swift Shadows #2) by M.L. Greye

Super excited that I’m able to help out M.L. Greye and receive a copy of her new book (out January 3rd!). I loved the first book and can’t wait to see where this series is going.


ARC: Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

Okay, this cover though? So good. This is one of my Netgalley reads I need to get to! This book sounded super interested and I’m excited that I received a copy!


Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

I’ve been on the fence forever about reading this but a dear friend got it for me for my birthday because this is one of her favorite books EVER. I really want to see what the hoopla is about. Hopefully this winter!


East (East #1) by Edith Pattou

OBSESSED WITH THESE COVERS (check out my Insta post). This was another birthday book that I need to finally get too.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

I LOVE EVERYTHING THIS WOMAN WRITES. No seriously. Everything. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS.


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

Oh guys. MERMAAAAAAAAAAIDS. There is no reason I won’t be reading this book, you better believe it.


Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

But really. It’s time to catch up on these AMAZING SERIES. I’m ready to tackle another 1,200+ page saga.


The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud

This has nothing to do with winter other than I’m trying to make it through this series. Two more books to go!!


10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Totally a bookstagram-made-me-do-it book. BUT IT LOOKS SO CUTE.

What’s on your winter TBR? Do we have any of the same books? Lets talk in the comments! Happy holidays!

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: November 2019

My birthday month is over. And I’m a bit sad about it. BUT NOW IT’S ACTUALLY CHRISTMAS SEASON. Yes, I only truly dive into the Christmas holiday AFTER Thanksgiving. Because that’s how it works.

Put the Christmas tree out yesterday, played some Christmas music and am currently rounding up the gifts I’ll need for this year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Lots of good reading this month. I did DNF three books (Hidden Huntress, The Rage of Dragons and Truth or Beard) which is unheard of for me. I still managed to make it through 20 books though so YAY.

All reviews will be coming out in the next few weeks. I’m ahead of posting reviews vs. monthly wrap-ups. Stay tuned if there’s a book that sounds good to you! (Or ask me in the comments!)

  • Be the Girl by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Storm and Fury (The Harbringer #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – (☆☆☆)
  • Imber (Thanatos Trilogy #1) by Tyffany Hackett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka – (☆☆☆☆)
  • One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu – (☆☆☆☆)

Favorite books this month: Supernova, New Orleans Rush, The Bromance Book Club & The Raven and the Dove

Least favorite book this month: Storm and Fury

How was reading for you this month? What was your favorite book? Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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