Book Review

Book Review: Temple of Sand (The Gods of Men #2) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: NA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 523 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable has been exposed for who she is: Imari, the illegitimate daughter of Istraa’s king, and a Liagé—someone born with forbidden Shah power. After ten years of hiding and surviving in the bitter cold Wilds, she is finally returning home.

But it’s not the homecoming Imari envisioned. After all, her father proclaimed her dead ten years ago, and with an anonymous Liagé leader operating in Istraa’s shadows, attacking villages and burning down temples, her father fears the people will blame Imari.

It could mean his throne, and her life.

Worse yet, the night Imari played her flute in Skyhold’s court, something unlocked inside of her, and now her power will not quiet. Neither will the growing fury she feels on behalf of Istraa’s Sol Velorian labor— people who share her blood.

As that fury becomes too loud to ignore, Imari chooses to use her position to liberate the Sol Velor. But can she free them without angering enemies hungry for the power she wields—a power that could rip the Five Provinces apart?

INTO THIS.

Oh how I’m loving all of these Kindle Unlimited finds. This is another great fantasy (with a large romance plot) series that I am without a doubt enjoying.

I love the way that religion was used in this story. The details were woven into the characters lives and it played a large part in decisions and actions. Combining the religious aspects with music was another great style choice. It was enchanting reading the way the musical tones were being conveyed. I like to think music can be soothing to us all (whatever genre/style we prefer!) and thought this was a great addition to the overall plot and story.

Ohhh how I wish Jeric and Imari found each other again sooner! I hate waiting until half the book is over for my love interests to be back on the same page. Once together, sparks started flying all over again. I LOVE these two. They have banter, and beautifully touching sentiments. Some heated moments (with a little steam) and I want them to end up together. Better get my happy ending in the next book!!

This story is very interesting and the plot feels like it’s always thickening. The villains are flat-out vile and appreciatively not one-dimensional. Temple of Sand combines dark aspects with hope and light to achieve a gorgeous book. I can’t wait to read the next one and definitely think you should take a chance on this!

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: heated make-outs; one mild open door scene
  • Violence: gory/bloody; murder, demon possession, physical, creature attacks, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, hints at past sexual assault

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Book Review

Book Review: The PAN (The PAN #1) by Jenny Hickman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: NA Urban Fantasy Romance / Retelling
Length: 414 pages
Author: Jenny Hickman
Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing
Release Date: October 14th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Since her parents were killed, Vivienne has always felt ungrounded, shuffled through the foster care system. Just when liberation finally seems possible—days before her eighteenth birthday—Vivienne is hospitalized with symptoms no one can explain.

The doctors may be puzzled, but Deacon, her mysterious new friend, claims she has an active Nevergene. His far-fetched diagnosis comes with a warning: she is about to become an involuntary test subject for Humanitarian Organization for Order and Knowledge—or HOOK. Vivienne can either escape to Neverland’s Kensington Academy and learn to fly (Did he really just say fly?) or risk sticking around to become a human lab rat. But accepting a place among The PAN means Vivienne must abandon her life and foster family to safeguard their secrets and hide in Neverland’s shadows… forever.

WHO KNEW.

Who knew that I would read a book that’s a retelling of Peter Pan and enjoy it? Nay, really enjoy it? NOT ME. [I’ve never been a fan of Peter Pan]

This had the romance that I’m clearly always on the look out for. Deacon and Vivienne have this insta-ish, heated romance that I loved! This connection felt right and their banter and antics had me lovin’ every minute of it. I like how both of them have flaws and things to work on and you can see the character changes over time.

The world set up is a fun urban fantasy type. There’s only a touch of magic, but it works so well! I love the HOOK take and how the battle between the PAN and HOOK shake out. It’s very interesting and I’m curious how it will continue to go in the series. I like that I found out a lot, but that there’s still plenty more to deduce in book two!

It went back and forth between a bit of younger YA drama/immaturity to some older more mature YA vibes. I hope it continues to hang out in the mature area because that’s really working for the story. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young Adult Urban Fantasy / Retelling
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Violence: physical, sexual harassment, kidnapping, loss of parents

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Book Review

Book Review: The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆ 
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 625 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Release Date: April 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen.

UH OH.

First two books I could have easily handed out more than 5 stars.

This one? 3 stars. An it was fine, kinda read.

I am still really into Poppy and Cas. They’re a great team, they do have chemistry and seem to work together well. I love Kieran and the rest of the wolven crew. All good things.

Nowwwww, where my issues lie.

I started noticing the flaws my friends who have read (and didn’t love) these books have mentioned. One of them being the repetitive nature of literally everything. Poppy’s inner monologue goes on and on and on and one point until I’m exhausted by her thoughts. And if you thought ACOSF had too many random sex scenes, then definitely don’t read this because I thought all of the sex was so RANDOM. Like run off in a corner, do it, then come back and keep going. I don’t know. It felt really forced and really didn’t love that.

My last big issue was that I felt like NOTHIGN HAPPENED. There was high action right from the start then high action right at the end. Between there wasn’t a lot of anything.

Okay okay, one more: WHY WERE NORMAL MONTHS USED? Poppy and Cas’s birthdays are apparently in April in December…in a made up fantasy world. That took me out of the book so fast, I’m clearly still bothered by this ridiculous notion.

Maybe if these books were a lot shorter they would seem like they were holding more substance. I’m still planning on reading the next one. I’m invested enough to continue, but I have some expectations for how it goes down. The ending was pretty predictable and left me wanting more. I’m curious how this is supposed to go on for 3/4 more books?

I’m hopeful. Some middle books are on the lower end of a rating for me. I loooove Cas the most. And as long as things work out there I think there’s an upward trend in sight.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door scenes
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations, pretty gory/bloody

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