Book Review

Book Review: Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

I’M INVESTED NOW.

I picked this up because of a recommendation from a friend on Bookstagram. She had mentioned if after seeing how much I loved the Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson. Y’all, she was right. This is definitely another great fantasy.

I wouldn’t say [at this time] that it’s on par with Sanderson, but I am not disappointed in what I read. I feel invested in this story now.

What was interesting is that these are all older characters. And I loved that! It was different from the my usual (since I’m a big reader of YA). The characters already came in with experiences and I amazed at how much I enjoyed each one. Persephone is a stunning, brave woman who holds her own among the men who claim she can’t handle her position. UGH, MEN.

Honestly though, that was only a handful. Raithe and Malcom? YES PLEASE. I love their bro-ship. They are so different and are great budding friends. I am obsessed with Raithe. He’s the brooding warrior type I’m always attracted to in books. I’m so pumped to see what happens in book two. Malcom is that witty side character you want to be friends with. He’s there at the right time, saying the right thing, and I loved his comical breaks in a somewhat heavy plot line.

“The worst that can happen is you’ll die.”

In a weird way, a lot happened, but didn’t happen. It’s definitely a first book. A lot more set-up, world-building and politicking happens then actual action scenes. While I minded a little, it was still such an enticing read. I constantly wanted to pick it up and see where the story was going next. The larger plot line was left open while a few ones this book focused on were wrapped up well.

Arion’s POV was the only one that took time to grow on me. At first I was wondering why she was even present. Luckily her story-line wove into the main plot and she definitely has a bigger role to play as these two worlds collide.

I absolutely adored Suri. As the only young main character in this book she was fantastic. Witty, intelligent, a little odd. It was a great mix. Her and Minna (her wolf) made me smile and cheer for them often.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: I think b*tch was used twice, that was it
  • Violence: knives, falling off cliffs, swords, animal attacks, magic, mauling by bears, all things are a bit gory
Book Talk

Bookish Discussion: The Lowest Rated Books On My Goodreads

Scrolling through the pages I follow I saw that Ally Writes Things had posted about the lowest rated books (on Goodreads) and what she rated them.

Y’all. THIS WAS A BRILLIANT IDEA.

So here I am, definitely doing this. Let’s go. This will be a handful of the lowest rated books based off of Goodreads and then what I ended up rating them. I hope to do one with the highest rated books from my GR as well, future post alert!

Things I’d Rather Do Than Die by Christine Hurley Deriso

Goodreads Rating: 3.25 || My Rating: 2.50

You can actually find my review for this here. Though please pardon the baby blog formatting as it was one of the first Netgalley reviews I ever did. I could not believe this book at all. It tried way too hard to create drama and purpose, but not. Just no.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (original story from Jane Austen)

Goodreads Rating: 3.29 || My Rating: 4.00

I can’t help it, I thought this book was fun. I even loved the movie (and that never happens!). It’s quirky, ridiculous, but that’s the whole point if you ask me.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Goodreads Rating: 3.39 || My Rating: 2.00

Granted, I read this in high school so it probably deserves a re-read to get a new rating, but I have NO DESIRE to do this.

The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Goodreads Rating: 3.41 || My Rating: 2.00

If you want to see a rant filled review: click here! My first physical ARC was unfortunately…an absolute dud. Really, a dud. *sigh*

Beowulf by Unknown (Seamus Heaney — Translator)

Goodreads Rating: 3.43 || My Rating: 3.00

This was another read in high school. I remember thinking it was fine overall. Interesting enough.

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Goodreads Rating: 3.45 || My Rating: 3.00

Tried my best to enjoy this because I thought the story was amazing, but unfortunately the way this was portrayed I couldn’t get into the story. I hardly remember it now because I scanned so much of it.

Evenfall (Shadowfire #1) by Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

Goodreads Rating: 3.51 || My Rating: 4.00

This was my version of a tale of two books. The first half almost had me DNF but then somehow the second half was astounding enough for me to think highly of it. I’m actually excited for the second book! (AND ALSO SHOUT-OUT TO THIS GORGEOUS COVER Y’ALL)

Have you read any of these? Did you love them more than their average rating? Lets talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads

Award

Blog Award: The Liebster Award

I was nominated by TheGeekishBrunette for this award! She is so sweet and I’ve loved following her blog and Instagram! Definitely make sure to check her blog out and give her a follow.

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

What is the weirdest book you have read?

While my husband loved this series, I unfortunately thought it was just to strange for me. I thought it was odd and weird and wasn’t for me.

Favorite book to movie adaption?

ALL TIME favorite book to movie adaptation (The Kiera Knightly version).

What is your favorite book series, and why?

SJM’s ACOTAR series is my absolute favorite. The story that Feyre goes on really hits me in the feels every time. I love the emotions, the plot, the characters, the romance, everything. It has yet to get old to me in any way.

If you could collide two book worlds together, what would they be and why?

Okay, I’m not even really sure which ones. But an interesting concept would be somehow combining a Sci-Fi book like The Illuminae Files with something full of fae (i.e. The Cruel Prince, etc.).

Just thinking about faeries dealing with flying spacecrafts is making me chuckle.

Who is your favorite book couple?

Oh of course, Feysand.

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Guys I’m beating a dead horse, A Court of Mist and Fury. I could re-live that romance all day.

Besides reading, do you have another hobby?

I absolutely love running! Unfortunately at this time I’m still in a boot so I can’t do anything but arm weights. But hopefully I’ll be healed in the next few months.

I also love baking muffins! I make them often and for everyone.

What is a favorite quote of yours?

“There are good days and bad days for me — even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

Morrigan – ACOMAF

Favorite book genre and why?

All things fantasy! I love reading worlds that I have no way on conceiving myself. It’s nice to be taken away from the real world for a bit while reading.

What was the last book you gave 5 stars?

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. This book was so cute y’all!

You are to go on a date with your favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend, who is it and what would your date consist of?

Since we already know my love of Rhysand, I’ll go with Rowan Whitethorn. Y’all I have no idea what we would do. I’m too starstruck by even the thought of these males being real to concentrate on a date. I’m also a fan of really simple dates. Dinner and a walk through a bookstore. I’m not sure what a date with a fae might consist of, I wouldn’t be mad about it though haha.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I am terrified of flying. I take so much Dramamine before I even get near the terminal. It’s unfortunately hindered me from traveling.
  2. I was bitten by a Copperhead (very poisonous snake) 2 weeks before I got married.
  3. I got married really young (20 years old!) and we’ve been together for 7 years.
  4. I played year-round competitive basketball for 15 years, but didn’t want to play in college.
  5. I love painting/crafting, but haven’t gotten to do it much since I had a baby.
  6. I’m left handed (so is my husband — we’re cool).
  7. I am a true Southerner and NCAA football is my religion (GIg ’em Aggies).
  8. My favorite spice is Lemon Pepper, and I put it on almost everything.
  9. I am a roller-coaster fanatic and love theme parks!
  10. My perfect place to live is a bungalow on the beach.
  11. I am obsessed with french fries, the best kind you ask? Chick-fil-A.

Okay, going a little off the path here and only nominating 5 bloggers and giving 5 questions. Holy mackerel 11 is a lot!

I’m tagging:

Book Allure || LaureGalie || #Bookish (Bibliophile Prints) || The Wolf and Books || Reader Fox

And here’s the questions:

  1. Who was your favorite childhood author?
  2. Do you judge a book by its cover? Or give it a chance?
  3. Who would be your best pal from a book?
  4. Where is the strangest place you’ve read a book?
  5. You’re stranded on a desert island: what book do you bring?

Now that my mind feels like mud from trying to be creative with my questions, no pressure in participating! Just wanted to spread the love.

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 656 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

SPLINTERED ALLEGIANCE.

Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf Line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf Line.

ANCIENT DANGER.

In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a Southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms… as well as the enemies within the castle.

THE DEADLY COST OF PEACE.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

FANTASTIC FINALE.

Oohhh this book was so good. I am distraught that this world is at last at an end. I enjoyed the Seven Realms series more, but I definitely had a good time reading through Shattered Realms.

I love that I couldn’t figure out who the traitor was. Every time it would lean one way and I was convinced they were the culprit more facts would be laid out and I couldn’t believe it! Well, I believe the character who committed the fraud is capable of such a thing, I was hopeful that they were better than that, but GUESS NOT.

The ever changing POV was on point. I was left feeling suspense on a feeling of suspense but also that the scene had finished. It was smooth and easy transitions as things were utterly ruled by chaos before the last moments of battle.

“He cocked his head, grinning charmingly, exposing teeth the size of rock slabs. Flame female?

Y’all, dragons. Dragons. And, oh, did I mention dragons? There was a whole cadre vibe with the family of dragons and there interaction and dialogue was seriously the best. I’m so happy they played a much bigger role and dealt out vengeance to all.

The plot was heavy story driven vs. character driven. I wished there was a bit more relationship building among the couples, friends and the like. It would have really put the whole book over the top.

The characters all stepped up their game too. Each reunion scene has me holding my breath. Shouting, AT LAST!! I needed those scenes, and I got those scenes. Destin was one of my favorites. He was sassy and conniving, but also could shed some tears, and when he saw Evan again? I couldn’t even handle it.

Getting Lyss and Hal back together was also momentous. Their final scene was the nice little cherry on top. I love happy endings. I like knowing where things are going. All the questions I had were answered and I fully understood the angle of the antagonists and well as our heroes.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: a handful of mild words
  • Romance: two glossed over love scenes, some kisses
  • Violence: knives, poison, fire, physical
Book Review

Book Review: Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 551 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A lifelong war.

Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.

A life in peril.

Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.

The shadow of defeat.

GOOD.

It’s simple. This book was good, not great. I still was captured into the story by the writing and characters, but it was still missing that last little oomph that makes it a 5 star.

I love love love Lyss. She is a beast. A warrior. Independent. Lyss doesn’t even own a dress! And she has muscles! Oh how I adore the way the author portrays her heroines. I can’t wait to see how Lyss grows into the future Queen of the Fells and rules her Queendom. This is a big reason why I continue to love this (and her previous) series.

The love story is cute, definitely not insta-love like it was in Flamecaster. A little more slow-burn, with my favorite trope: enemies to lovers. Hal is caring and enigmatic. I really want more of his back story. I think there relationship is going places and I am here for it. He only annoyed me when he became a little too love-struck and that literally all he could talk about.

I was a bit confused that we only saw a few characters from the previous book. As a series it was strange to change to essentially a whole new cast. The two stories with Ash and Lyss haven’t combined yet so I’ll see what kind of answers I get in the next installment, Stormcaster.

The plot is engaging and continually moving forward. The antagonists are closing in from both sides on the Fells. And the action kept me on my toes. I’m definitely still interested in continuing this story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: an intense-ish make-out
  • Violence: arrows, knives, poison, explosions, physical

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 320 pages
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Foster Stewart knows she’s different. Her life has never been “normal.” Talking to plants and controlling cloud formations aren’t things most seventeen year olds are into. Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor is perfect. Star quarterback and all around dreamy boy next door he never thought about his “extra” abilities. What quarterback wouldn’t want night vision? That’s not weird, right? It’s cool! 

But on the night of their first meeting a deadly tornado brings them together and awakens their true abilities – the power to control the element air. Unbeknown to Tate and Foster, they are the first in a group of teens that were genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements. Which truly sucks for Foster, as she has to face the fact that Dr. Rick Stewart, her beloved scientist father, betrayed her and now wants to use her and the others for his own nefarious world domination plot. 

Foster and Tate must stop Dr. Stewart and his minions before he destroys their lives and the world.

Note: Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

NOT MY CUP OF TEA.

I was really excited about this book, mainly because of the summary. It sounded Michael Vey-ish (and I loved that series!) and was hoping for more of the same. It’s completely crazy that some mad scientist messed with embryos for his own gain! How evil right? While the concept and premise is there, the story itself never came together for me.

I also did like that they repped my alma mater, Texas A&M, a handful of times. That was cool. And jumping all over the U.S. was interesting. I liked that it wasn’t a stagnant story in one location. There was a lot of change in POV as well. I personally like that because I get to see the story from multiple sides and understand the characters on a deeper level.

I felt this book could be much more appropriate and fun for a younger audience, if it wasn’t trying so hard to be more adult. I’m fine with language, unless it crosses a line that leads into unnecessary. Calling the bad guys the “F**ktastic Four” and having Tate continually calling Foster a “witch” really rubs me the wrong way. I couldn’t get behind the relationship because heaven knows I would never allow someone to call me that than kiss me a few days later. I even physically cringed during some conversations that were added to no benefit of the plot.

I didn’t much care for any of these characters. With typical teenagers, I get it, they are still figuring life out. But in this case I felt everyone was contradicting themselves. Saying/doing one thing, then within the same chapter completely flipping on that narrative. Personalities were way too stereotypical and flat. The villains basically do nothing other than sit around and complain. Dr. Stewart, the supposed evil scientist, is hardly in this book. His minions aren’t even that nefarious. They were all bark and no bite, making them awfully dull.

I wasn’t a big fan of the comics in this book either. I generally enjoy coming up with an image in my head of what a character looks like, and not being forced into it by pictures that make you pause in the middle of reading (truly interrupting you). They took away from the story rather than added to it.

The writing wasn’t my favorite and felt forced at times. There was a lot to happen, but yet, didn’t happen. And side characters all of a sudden best friends, and love interests with very little connection other than teenage “oh look how hot they are” angst. I was confused by the addition of more high caliber words (like fuliginous) next to simple phrases. It really felt like two separate people wrote this book rather than a meeting of the minds.

I have more, but don’t feel it’s worth the time to continue. *sighs*

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy (in contemporary world)
  • Language: a word in just about every paragraph
  • Romance: some kisses, thoughts of how hot everyone is
  • Violence: natural disasters (tornadoes)
  • Trigger warnings: verbal sexual harassment, a near plane crash

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Howdy to everyone! Hope your day is going splendid and that your week has started off well.

This weeks theme is all about finding those diamonds in the rough. Though upon looking through my Read list I realized, most books I have read have way more than 2,000 ratings. It honestly makes me want to find more books where fewer people have heard of them.

With so few to choose from, these weren’t all books I LOVED, but at least 4 stars and enjoyed overall. Here’s to Top Ten Tuesday!

Evenfall (Shadowfire #1)

By Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

Number of ratings: 161

I called this book, a tale of two stories. It was almost a DNF til about half-way, then I felt like I was reading a whole new tale and it ended really well! I was lucky enough to receive this from Netgalley and I am looking forward to book two.

The Cenote

by: Chelsea Dyreng

Number of ratings: 177

Unfortunately, I read this four years ago and hadn’t gotten into review writing quite yet. From what I remember it was a romance filled with a lot of allegories. A big theme of redemption that will tug at your heart strings. I even hosted this as a book club book at my house!

The Wren Hunt

by: Mary Watson

Number of ratings: 675

I read this through Netgalley and thought this was so stinkin’ good! (Review here). I’m actually really surprised it has such a small amount of ratings. It was loosely based on Romeo & Juliet. I found it a unpredictable and stayed up way too late flying through this book. Did I mention the romance is my favorite trope? Hate to lovers!!

What the Wind Knows

by: Amy Harmon

Number of ratings: 1,327

I finished this a few weeks ago, this was one on the list that I LOVED. Oh so good. Swoon-worthy romance, beautiful writing and a heartfelt story. Makes me want to discover my own history.

Sweet Black Waves (SWB #1)

by: Kristina Pérez

Number of ratings: 777

I happened to go into this without knowing the legend behind it, and honestly, I think that made me love it even more. I had no expectations. And wow, holy twists Batman! I saw none of that coming, and can’t believe I still have to wait til the fall for the next book.

Where the Watermelons Grow

by: Cindy Baldwin

Number of ratings: 821

This book is all about mental health. This sweet daughter struggles to deal with her Mom having schizophrenia. A lot of poignant moments and tough conversations. Books like these are important, and as this is a children’s book (recommended for 8-12) , I thought it was all approached in a thoughtful way.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

by: C.G. Drews

Number of ratings: 1,774

Ooo, this book will make you want to throw things. It is a heart-breaking, growing-up story that was fabulous. It was her debut novel and I am stoked to order her next one!

The Lost Queen (The LQ Trilogy #1)

by: Signe Pike

Number of ratings: 1,830

A little known historical fiction/fantasy based off of the wizard Merlin, but focusing on his sister, Languoreth. If you take this as a fantasy only, I think you’ll really enjoy it. There’s romance, war, and making hard decisions.

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

By: Emily A. Duncan

Number of ratings: 521

While I figure this will actually eventually have more than 2,000 ratings since it isn’t out yet, BUT that means I can currently use it for this TTT. Y’all, this book is good. I’m excited to see where the series goes. A solid foundation has been built.

Pride & Prejudice: Baby Counter

by: Jennifer Adams & Alison Oliver

Number of ratings: 1,239

Okay, adding this because it is totally adorable. If you have kids and love P&P I would definitely look into this board book! My babe loves it and I found it really clever. [I was also basically out of few ratings books too *shrugs*]

Have you read any of these? What’s one of your few rating favorites? Let’s talk in the comments!