Book Review

Book Review: Crystal Caged (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #5) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy
Length: 426 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: March 11th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The highly anticipated and breathtaking finale of Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova.

One way or another… she will be the end of the world.

With powers that weren’t supposed to be touched by mortal hands, Vi Solaris is determined to free herself and the world from the deadly vortex it’s trapped in. This mission has taken her to forbidden lands and has transformed her from a sheltered princess to a fearsome warrior.

But the ultimate triumph requires the ultimate sacrifice, forcing Vi to choose between the last tethers to her humanity and the very people she’s sworn to protect.

Vi’s story of magic, sacrifice, triumph, and love reaches its epic conclusion in Crystal Caged. Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles should be read in order:Vortex Visions Chosen Champion Failed Future Sovereign Sacrifice Crystal Caged

FINALLY FINISHED.

It’s no secret I LOVE the original Air Awakens series (for real, please go read this). So I dived into this one thinking I would at least really like it, and I am sad that it overall was a let down. To show you, it took me 4 days to read the original 5 books, and 2 years to finish this series.

My biggest issue was the entire basis for the plot. I never got fully behind it. It continues after the first series, and yet, twists back to it as well? I don’t know. Things became very convoluted and I found myself staring down an enigma that I just didn’t feel like solving.

The romance was great at least. I adored Taavin. He was tender and kind. Full of support for Vi, but also willing to go toe-to-toe with her if needed. I thought they were a true match and grateful the ending worked out for them (I thought it was heading in a different direction and I was going to riot). This ship was the high point throughout the books and kept me going when I wasn’t interested in the wider story.

I mostly read this to read the next series in this world (you don’t have to do that, but I’m, in general, a big Kova fan so why not?). I’m ready to move on and see what A Trial of Sorcerers has in store for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed and brief open
  • Violence: physical altercations, loss of loved ones, weaponry, magical attacks, near death experiences

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Furysong (The Aurelian Cycle #3) by Rosaria Munda

Rating: ★★★★☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: August 9th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this explosive conclusion to the epic trilogy that began with Fireborne, Annie and Lee are fighting for their lives—and for each other—as invading dragonfire threatens to burn their home to the ground.

A new revolution is underway, and nobody will emerge unscathed.

In New Pythos, Griff is facing an execution by the dragonborn, who are furious at his betrayal. He has allies on both sides seeking to defy his fate, but the price of his freedom might come at a dear cost. And Delo will have to make a choice: follow his family, or finally surrender to his conscience.

Meanwhile, Annie must race home to hatch a plan to save her Guardians and their dragons. With Callipolis on the brink of collapse and the triarchy set to be reinstated, she may be the one person who can save the city—if she can overcome her own doubts about her future.

Lee is a revolutionary at heart, but now he’ll have to find a way to fight with diplomacy. Going up against the dragonborn court and a foreign princess, he faces a test of loyalty that sets his head against his heart.

As the fate of Callipolis darkens, Annie and Lee must determine what they are willing to sacrifice in order to save each other, defeat their enemies, and reclaim their home.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for the eARC.

EPIC.

This series is TOTALLY UNDERRATED AND EVERYONE SHOULD GO READ IT PLEASE.

Now with that business out of the way let me give a non-spoiler review.

I LOVED this story. It is slow for YA, but as someone who loves fantasy across the board I was into it. Packed with a punch from the get-go the action did not cease for awhile. I loved the drift it took into slower territory, where building of armies, tension, and romance was able to happen. I was absolutely smitten with both romances. Lee and Annie are too precious for this world. This incredible bond formed when they were orphaned children that grew into something unquantifiable. It was passionate and TEARS WERE SHED at some specific, not to be named scenes.

I also adored the romance between Griff and Delo. It had a whole different vibe to it with a changing of position and having to be let the festering anger burst before bonds could reform. I love the hope that came from between them even when things were at there bleakest.

Can we also discuss the side characters??! Holy cow they brought it too. Power has got to be one of my new favorites. He was everything I love about morally gray dynamics. Caught wanting to better his life, falling into unrequited love and more that I wish I could say. His scenes were next level.

And the plot is full of DRAGONS, politicking, action and more. I think this plot flowed really well and I truly didn’t know how things were going to end up working out in the end. I did nick 1/2 star because I wanted a little more *oopmh* in the ending (though I do promise it ends perfectly well and you will not throw your book). Besides that hard to nail down thought with the ending, I NEED Y’ALL TO PLEASE READ THIS SERIES.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: closed-door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: battle themes, loss of life, loss of loved ones, grief & depression depiction, near death experiences, torture, animal cruelty, fires, indentured servitude, harassment

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Book Review

Book Review: Blood Scion (Blood Scion #1) by Deborah Falaye

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Author: Deborah Falaye
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 8th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

This is what they deserve. They wanted me to be a monster. I will be the worst monster they ever created.

Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.

Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.

Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she abhors.

Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.

ENDING SAVED IT.

Note: this book is super dark and does not hold back. Please check trigger warning and make sure you’re in the right frame of mind for it!

This was something different, without a doubt. I’m not sure my mood reader self was quite read for everything, buuut I did really enjoy this story overall.

One of the best aspects was the strong female main character, Sloane. I loved her. She had to make the hardest choice over and over again and she kept rising and pushing forward. The audiobook did a fantastic job at narration and I think this also helped bring the story to life.

So much of this plot is heavy and unforgiving. There’s complex characters and a compelling plot. I did find it at times a little slow and I occasionally had a hard time getting fully into the story. The ending though? WOW, I did not see that coming at all. It was full of twists and wildness that set up for book two.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Dark Fantasy
  • Language: light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: very high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, colorism, rape mentioned, sexual assault, self harm, child abuse, child soldiers, suicidal ideation, death of a parent, genocide, torture, executions, gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 597 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

BOB SAY HI.

Yeah that hurt.

Anyways, another solid read for this series. I love it on audio and definitely recommend that avenue. The narrator does a great job and I can usually listen at a pretty fast pace too (and not miss anything).

I adore all of these characters yet again and love the expansion of getting to see Tartarus and all the dealings and monsters that happen down there. I was anxious the entire time for Percy and Annabeth because I will RIOT if I don’t get the kind of ending I want for them. It happens right?!

Many characters go through get arcs and I am impressed at how well each dynamic is kept up. I never feel like one aspect of the story is lacking or that a character isn’t getting enough page time. The rotation between everyone has created such well defined personalities and people. I love getting to know everyone more each time through their struggles and triumphs.

I did feel like this book ran a little long. But that was my only issue with it. Some action scenes dragged on a bit and I really noticed the pattern that was occurring so I was ready to move on to something else by the end. I am excited to finish this series!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Urban Fantasy / Mythology
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: intense physical altercations also involving magic, near death experiences

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