Book Review

Book Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Paranormal
Length: 384 pages
Author: Rachel Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

WONDERFUL DEBUT.

I enjoyed this so dang much!

First off, the romance was so sweet. Like sugary syrup sweet. I couldn’t get enough of Clara and Sang together. There was passion and new experiences. Learning to lean on each other and the support Sang gave Clara was off the charts. Some swoony kissing scenes that really nailed this relationship for me.

I love the character growth in Clara over the year. She had to work through a lot of emotions and truths she had lead herself to believe for too long. Clara was pushed outside of her comfort zone and forced to face past relationships and trials too. By the end she had made some beautiful strides in owning her magic and herself.

There was a little bit of a repetitive nature to the story. Each season Clara would tackle a rogue weather pattern and then do that again and again. They did push Clara’s character forward, but it became extremely formulaic for me. And something that didn’t affect my rating, but that I did struggle with was how high my anxiety got reading this. Since climate change is front and center it caused my dooms-day anxiety to spike and made it tough to read at times (and this was a me thing, but wanted to mention to others who might be wary too).

I’m really excited to see what Griffin writes next. This was a witch book that I adored, and those are hard to come by for me.

Overall Audience Notes:

  • YA Paranormal
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Violence: minor physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: grief and loss depiction, death of a parent and best friend, extreme weather patterns

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Book Review

Book Review: The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia Romance
Length: 412 pages
Author: Kortney Keisel
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He’s promised to another. She’s promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he’s not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?

HELLOOOO DRAMA.

I found this book simultaneously over dramatic and hard to put down. I guess I’m really into the dramatics sometimes.

This is an older YA cast, with a younger YA vibe. I believe the male lead is 24, and acts like he’s 17. I found a lot of the inner dialogue and thoughts to be rather naïve and occasionally annoying. I enjoyed the overall interactions between Trev and Renna at least.

Plenty happened throughout. I didn’t find the pacing slow until near the end. Some interesting villains who tried to hard to be villains. And I was desperate for some world-building. I understood it was a post-world scenario. That’s about it. No thought given to why their were kingdoms now, how they were run. What everything kind of looked like, nada. I had to make a lot of assumptions to understand everything.

Yet, I enjoyed reading this. There were some good nuggets. I was invested enough to keep going and see how it all played out (which was rather whoa on its own).

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: murder, physical, gun violence, attempted assassination
  • Content Warning: loss of a sibling/loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1) by Breeana Shields

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Breeana Shields
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

CAUGHT UP IN THIS ONE.

Oh wow. I read this from a friend’s recommendation and Y’ALL. TBR STAT.

I found this to be such an easy read. I loved the magic system. Things made sense and was unique. It was twisted and set-up in a way that I was worried it would be confusing, but turns out…it worked out perfectly.

It’s told from two divergent timelines. One if Saskia made one choice, and one if she went on a different path. I loved how this played out! Even while reading the chapters it was straight forward as to which voice was narrating. And the way they combined hit everything right. I haven’t read a timeline like this that worked out so beautifully.

There’s a soft and slow romance throughout that was tender and sweet. Bram stole my heart (and Saskia’s) and someone needs to tell me they get a happy ending.

The book has a lot of dark tones and ambiance. The villain was an absolute type who took a bit to see coming. I liked that they fit into the story well and their corrupt nature kept me on my toes. I really can’t wait to read book two and see how everything ends!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: death, intense murder scenes; generally a bit morbid

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Book Review

Book Review: Wings of Shadow (Crown of Feathers #3) by Nicki Pau Preto

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 704 pages
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date: July 13th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In the heart-stopping finale to the Crown of Feathers trilogy, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable,” Veronyka must face her most devastating enemy yet: her own sister.

I had a sister, once…

Veronyka is no longer an orphaned stable boy or a nameless Phoenix Rider apprentice: she is the daughter of Pheronia Ashfire, the last queen of the Golden Empire…and the niece of Avalkyra Ashfire, the resurrected rebel queen who tore the empire apart.

We shone brightly, burned fiercely.

Now that the secret is out, everyone at the Eyrie treats Veronyka differently, and with Tristan still a hostage of the scheming Lord Rolan—and Sev with him as a spy—Veronyka feels very much alone. Except for her beloved phoenix, Xephyra, of course, and her new friend, Kade, who has his own reasons for wanting to save Tristan.

Was it always going to come down to this? Sister against sister? Darkness against light?

Veronyka is determined to do whatever it takes to get Tristan back, even if that means revealing her identity to the world and inheriting a throne she’s not sure she wants. But when she discovers that Avalkyra has bonded with a strix—a legendary creature of darkness that feeds off the life force of others—Veronyka realizes she has more to deal with than an encroaching war with the empire. Val is willing to destroy everything to get her revenge on a world that rejected her, and if Veronyka wants to bring peace to the empire and Pyra alike, she must face down her sister once and for all.

The world began with Ashfire queens…perhaps they will also be its destruction.

SPECTACULAR FINALE.

I have been reading series ender duds over and over and FINALLY, hit a closing book that brought it home. This was incredible and fully solidifies my recommendation that get this on your TBR!

For over 600 pages, I hardly felt it was exhaustingly long. The pages were used well and kept the story moving and involved. I love Veronyka as the ultimate main heroine. She is incredibly strong, full of love, and uses her strengths to lift and care for others. I adored the side romance with Tristan and how supportive they were of each other. No ridiculous miscommunications here.

Sev was all things I love too. He had some personal crises that had me wishing I could lift him up. I was so excited seeing his character arc and learning to love who he is and the power he brings to the table. Kade was also insanely supportive and those two melted my heart. All of these ships melted my heart. [Honorable mention the sweetness of Elliot and Sparrow too!!]

Along with the fantastic friendships, family relationships, were insane amounts of action. Wild tension that had me gasping so much my husband stopped and asked me what was wrong ~whoops~. Each time things started to pick up, I never knew quite what would happen and I loved that.

I loved even more how the final scenes with the main villainess went. It wasn’t typical and became profound as Veronyka and Val had a last clashing. The scene was memorable and full of emotion. I love that it gave Val more than just the antagonist role, but this whole other set of layers. She was one of the main POV’s throughout the series too and I loved being in her mind too.

I could keep gushing. This series has a great set of the three books. I don’t remember being let down by any of them. One of the last things I’ll mentioned I couldn’t get enough of were all of the phoenixes. They all had personalities and quirks and cared deeply for their riders. Definitely one of the best parts of the entire trilogy.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Violence: war themes, weaponry, loss of life, physical and magical altercations, fire

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