Book Review

Book Review: The Atlas Six (The Atlas #1) by Olivie Blake

Rating: ★★★☆
Audience: NA Dark Academia
Length: 375 pages
Author: Olivie Blake
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…

Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

THIS WAS ODD.

I’m not really sure what to do with this read. On one hand I enjoyed it. On the other, I’m not quite sure about what I did enjoy.

This is a slowww read. And (mostly) not in a bad way. I don’t mind when fantasies take their time as long as things keep progressing. But at some point this switched over to where I felt like I wanted to skim (which I did).

The characters are divinely unique and I loved that. I hated and loved them for a myriad of reasons. Heavily character driven books are my jam. Though I did wonder why everyone was sleeping with everyone? It just didn’t seem necessary or really adding anything.

Plot wise, I needed more. It wasn’t working for me. There wasn’t enough development of WHY all of these people were together. Not until the last quarter did I start to connect some dots.

I stand undecided on reading book two. I think I’ll probably wait to see some friends reviews first. Or I might try the audio to move through it quicker.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Urban Fantasy + Dark Academia
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple vague + closed door + innuendo
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: cheating, near death experiences, extortion, suicide ideation, suicide, alcohol consumption

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When her grandfather disappears, leaving only a mysterious orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. She enters the forest she has spent years trying to escape, only to have Hawthorne Fell, a handsome and brooding tithe collector, try to dissuade her from searching.

Refusing to be deterred, Emeline finds herself drawn to the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of this eerie world she’s trapped in, along with the devastating boy who feels so familiar.

With the help of Hawthorne—an enemy turned reluctant ally who she grows closer to each day—Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

Haunting and romantic, Kristen Ciccarelli’s Edgewood is an exciting novel from a bold, unforgettable voice in fantasy.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an eARC.

MELODIC & HAUNTING.

Well if the cover isn’t already drawing you in, let me tell you, this was a GREAT standalone fantasy. They’re often hit or misses. This was a hit. Happy I read it. Couldn’t get enough of it.

I really liked the main character, Emeline. She had limits, yet didn’t let that stop her. She used her strengths and her heart to make the decisions and I never found myself wanting to roll my eyes at her choices. I love a heroine who grows and comes into her own over the course of a book.

The romance with Emeline and Hawthorne enchanted me way more than I was expecting. I like a long haul, yet this quick paced romance got me good. I liked the reveals, the quiet, tender moments and the clear passion emanating from their bond across time.

A well thought out plot that touches on some tough subjects (see trigger/content warnings). Reading the author’s note at the end brought the novel into an even better light. I like the way things were handled and the acknowledgement of how tough getting older and coping with those changes can be. While at the initial moment, I didn’t love the ending, the further I thought about it (and now writing this review), I see the connection. I see the intention of the author in this choice and really think it fits for the book.

This isn’t a full fantasy, it’s got a dash of urban nature to it. I love a good urban fantasy + fae though so no complaints here. I love all of the music components and everything else this book offered. I had a hard time putting it down.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: brief/vague open door (2ish scenes)
  • Violence: physical altercations, weaponry, creature attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a grandparent with dementia, loss of memory without consent, kidnapping

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Book Review

Book Review: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Urban Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

ROTH FOREVER.

I’m glad this book redeemed the series after that doozy of a second. I liked this conclusion and felt like it wrapped up everything it needed to for this story. The wrap up was really quick, buuut at least it all worked out.

I get the book boyfriend hype for Roth. I adored him myself. He’s the best part of this series. I love the dark, brooding type who is passionate about the one thing he truly loves (aka Layla). There were many great moments between them and I was smitten up and down the block.

The middle of the book is wrapped up in the romance. Which is fine. I just wish more of the plot was intertwined. Like I mentioned earlier, the Lilin/Lilith plot line is pushed to the last hundred pages and left me wishing it played a bigger role.

A good backlist series to read if you’re up for an urban fantasy romance adventure. This book had a lot of great elements and I loved the audio books!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Urban Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple brief open door
  • Violence: murder, attempted murder, physical and magical altercations; blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: Knight (Fae Games #2) by Karen Lynch

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Urban Fantasy + Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Karen Lynch
Publisher: Tempest Press
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Jesse risked everything to bring her mother and father home, but her life is far from back to normal. With her parents’ memories of their abduction gone, Jesse is no closer to finding answers, and the threat still looms over her family.

When the Agency announces that a powerful Fae artifact is missing, Jesse suspects it’s connected to her parents’ disappearance. Until the artifact is found, her family will never be safe. This job might be more than she can handle alone, but is she willing to accept help from the people who betrayed her, from the one person she is trying hard to forget?

The only thing Jesse knows for sure is that the game is not over. The rules have changed, there are dangerous new players on the board, and the stakes are higher than ever. She’s always been smart and resourceful, but it might take the goddess herself to save Jesse from what comes next.

THAT ENDING THOUGH.

This series has been so good so far. Exactly what I needed. New adult urban fantasy with all the faes I could want. These books are hard to put down.

Jesse is still the same character as before. I thought she grew even more here with all of the things thrown at her this round. She’s gotta be one of my new fav heroines. I love her inner dialogue and witty banter. How passionate she is about caring for her family and taking care of business.

I neeeeed more Lukas though. That’s my only minor complaint. I want more of this fae prince and I want it now. The romance could be built up a little bit more. Things amped up a bit between the two but I wholly expect that to change in the last book (hopefully).

I liked the narrative here and where the story went. The plot flows pretty seamlessly through bounty catches, espionage and recoveries. The ending definitely dropped some huge information and I must know how that plays out in the next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Urban Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: kidnapping, murder, physical and magical altercations, blood depiction

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