Where Dreams Descend – Book Tour

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Janella Angeles’s novel, Where Dreams Descend! I just want to say a quick thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of this book and inviting me to be a part of this tour. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

SUMMARY:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

My Review:

Where Dreams Descend is a novel that hooked me from the moment I read the synopsis. Magicians? A Circus? A dangerous threat? Oh HELL yes!

Very reminiscent of Caraval and The Night Circus, Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles is a book that transports you into a daring world of magicians and danger. The tone is dark and angsty, the reader is automatically thrust into a world with people they know they cannot trust, and the characters are to die for. The main heroine, Kallia, starts off as the star of the show in a mysterious club after being orphaned at a young age, but after discovering that the club’s owner, Jack, has been feeding her lies and manipulating her mind, she runs off to compete in a magical competition. However, after fleeing the club she discovers this competition wants nothing to do with a female magician. Kallia is an absolute spitfire, and a joy of a main character. Her chemistry with Jack and judge Daron Demarco is undeniable, and made it so hard for me to pick one to root for. Jack is nothing if not seductive, and while he has his flaws they make him all the more interesting in my eyes. Demarco is a damaged magician on a mission who I grew to adore the more I found out about his past. Each of these main characters were such a delight to read, and I cannot wait to see where the next chapter in this story takes them.

The writing was absolutely gripping, and the last few chapters left me with a serious case of whiplash. I am dying to get my hands on a copy of the next book in the series because I absolutely need to know what happens with these characters. There is just so much I want to say about this book, but I do not want to ruin it for anyone who is looking forward to picking it up once it hits the shelves.

Overall, I give Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles four and a half out of five stars for being a enthralling first installment in what is sure to be one of my new favorite duologies. I highly recommends this book to fantasy lovers everywhere, but especially to fans of Caraval, The Night Circus, and Phantom of the Opera.

4.5_StarRating

About the Author:

JANELLA ANGELES is a Filipino-American author who got her start in writing through consuming glorious amounts of
fanfiction at a young age—which eventually led to penning a few of her own, and later on, creating original stories from
her imagination. A lifelong lover of books, she’s lucky enough to be working in the business of publishing them on top of
writing them. She currently resides in Massachusetts, where she’s most likely to be found listening to musicals on repeat and daydreaming too much for her own good. Where Dreams Descend is her first book.

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Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud – Book Review

Hey guys! I’m so thankful to Flatiron books for sending me an early copy of Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud! As a fan of Mirage I could not wait for this sequel and I am so glad it is finally out. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

SUMMARY:

Cover_COURT OF LIONS_COVERTwo identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

My Review:

I’m always hesitant when it comes to reviewing sequels because I never want to give anything away, especially in the case of Mirage. Mirage was a book I read and I loved, but I haven’t really thought about much since finishing.

However, coming back into the world of Mirage with Court of Lions was just so much fun. The writing was just as breathtakingly beautiful as Mirage, if not more so, and I was immediately swept back into the world with just a few lines. Daud’s writing has a poetic feel about it that makes reading such a fun experience. We got to experience entirely new parts of Andala as the story expanded far beyond the constraints of the first novel. Not only did the world expand, but the story did as well. I will say I found the pacing much slower this time around, but the emphasis on political intrigue and the forming of alliances was just fascinating.

The main reason why I find it so hard to review sequels is that there is so much I want to talk about, but I’m also so hesitant to reveal too much. I will just say that I loved following Amani, Maram, Idris, and the rest in this installment as much if not more than in the first novel. I also very much appreciated all the representation in Court of Lions as it is something that differentiates itself from most of the YA out there.

In conclusion I give Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud four out of five stars to being a fantastic sequel to one of my most enjoyed books of 2018. I highly recommend everyone go pick up a copy of Mirage immediately so they can experience the enchanting writing and world.

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About the Author:

Author Photo_Somaiya Daud

Somaiya Daud is the author of Mirage and holds a PhD from the University of Washington in English literature. A former bookseller in the children’s department at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., now she writes and teaches full time.

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Lobizona by Romina Garber – Blog Tour and Review

Lobizona_BlogTourBanner_Use on+after 8.4

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Romina Garber’s novel, Lobizona! I just want to say a quick thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of this book and inviting me to be a part of this tour. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

SUMMARY:

Lobizona_Front coverSome people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

My Review:

If there is a book that needs to be on everyone’s tbr this year, it’s Lobizona by Romina Garber.
Our main character is Manu, an undocumented Argentinian teenager  living in Miami with a secret even she does not understand. Her family has fled from Argentia for reasons unbeknownst to her, and her mother forces her to be invisible. She does not go to school, she does not have friends, and every time she goes outside she must wear sunglasses with mirrored lenses to hide the golden glow of her eyes. However, once her mother’s workplace is raided by ICE she is forced to go on the run where she discovers a magical school hidden in the everglades called El Laberinto–a school for Brujas and Lobizons, a world where she thinks she finally might belong.Despite her hope of finding a home that will accept her, Manu is once again labeled as illegal for being a hybrid.
Garber did a truly fantastic with the writing of the novel. The pacing is exquisite, and the stake are set from the very first page. The world she weaves is lush and vivid and full of adventure. I don’t know if I would truly define this book as YA Fantasy because to me it truly felt like a contemporary filled with magical realism at times. Garber does her best to stuff her story with as much representation as possible from the undocumented experience in America, to LGBTQ+ representation in general, and although I love where her heart is at I feel like she did not give each topic all the love it deserved.
There is just so much I want to say about this book, but I also wish for people to go out and read it themselves so they can experiences Garber’s fantastical world as well. The one thing that truly irked me about this novel, as it does in most novels, was the romance. Manu and Tiago’s relationship just rubbed me the wrong way as most of their ‘tension’ could have be handled with a simple conversation. That being said, this one minor issue is overruled by the abundance of good that is done in this book.
Overall, I give Lobizona by Romina Garber four and a half out of five star for being a book that I see becoming very important to a lot of people. The world is magical, the characters are relatable, and the story is one that needs to be told. I truly recommend Lobizona to anyone and everyone looking for a book that stands apart from a majority of the YA out there on the market.
4.5_StarRating

About the Author:

Romina Garber_Credit Drew Bordeaux

ROMINA GARBER (pen name Romina Russell) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Originally from Argentina, she landed her first writing gig as a teen—a weekly column for the Miami Herald that was later nationally syndicated—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her books include Lobizona. When she’s not working on a novel, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

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An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Book Review

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

By Virginia Boecker

Details:


Title: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason


Author: Virginia Boecker

 


Pub. Date: October 23rd, 2018



Synopsis:

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.

Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on. 

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review 

As a fan of Shakespeare and historical fiction in general, I was itching to get my hands on the books from the moment I read the blurb. An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason has to be one of the most entertaining YA historical fiction novels I have ever read. It’s a wonderful take on classic Shakespearian tropes that I can see many, many people enjoying. 

A royal spy and an orphan out for revenge on the people who killed her father, Toby and Katherine could not be more different. One is out to prevent the people who are plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth and the other out to assassinate her. Katherine disguises herself as a boy, Kit, and auditions for a play which is being put for the queen in order to assassinate. The play itself is actually being put on by Toby who is using it to Lure the assassins in and stop their plotting. Over the course of the novel the two start to develop feelings for each other, and, of course, drama ensues. I really enjoyed both characters, and the similarities with the play which is being performed, Twelfth Night. I loved how we got to see Katherine grow and find herself over the course of the novel, and I found her story to be very relatable and empowering. Toby was so passionate and funny–he’s a character that you can’t help but like. The only real issue I had with this book was the pacing. I felt that there were a lot of things that could have been sped up such as all of the plotting, the investigating, even the relationship between the two main characters. The ending though, that definitely made up for the pacing issues. It was fun, exciting, and the perfect way to tie up the novel. One thing I really need to give props for is how well researched this book was. Reading it, I could tell that Boecker actually put effort into trying to make things as historically accurate as possible which is something that not every author does.

In conclusion I give An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason four out of five stars for being a fun-filled read as well as one of my new favorite YA Historical Fictions. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but especially to fans of Shakespeare.

              

If you would like to order An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

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The Leading Edge of Now – ARC Tour and Review

I was invited by the wonderful Victoria @ thepetitebookblogger.wordpress.com to participate in an ARC tour for The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis. I hadn’t really heard about this book before joining the tour, so I was wonderfully surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Synopsis:

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find — and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34520598-the-leading-edge-of-now

Book Trailer:

My Review:

I really didn’t know much about The Leading Edge of Now aside from the fact that it was a contemporary novel. I was expecting it to be a quick, fun read, but it was so much more than that. Grace’s story is raw, emotional, and focuses on difficult topics that I don’t believe get featured very well in YA literature. I must put a trigger warning for rape/sexual abuse which is something that is heavily featured in the book, but Curtis does such a fantastic job at addressing it in a way that I believe to be very prevalent in our society today.

The story starts out with Grace reconnecting with her Uncle, Rusty, after two years of being in foster care. She also learns that her ex best friend and ex boyfriend have moved next door and it’s a lot for her to take in all at once. She used to hold so many great memories in New Harbor, but all those great memories were tainted after she was raped. She doesn’t remember what happened that night, and blames herself. Throughout the course of the story, we get to see Grace slowly but surely reconnect with her friends and family in a way that is more believable than most stories, as well as confront her past. The Leading Edge of Now is an emotional rollercoaster full of twists and turns. We get to witnesses Grace’s journey through a very dark time in her life and see her come out the other side. Her character was so realistic, and I often found myself wanting the best for her. We get to see Grace go from a victim to a survivor, and I think thats it is a very important and inspiration story that girls of all ages should read.

Overall, I give The Leading Edge of Now four out of five stars for being an inspirational story of a survivor who goes through the darkest time of her life to come out the other side a better person. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a realistic, inspirational read, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Author Information:

Marci Lyn Curtis is the author of young adult dramedies The One Thing and The Leading Edge of Now. She lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband. You can find out more about Marci on her website (marcilyncurtis.com), on Twitter (@Marci_Curtis), on Instagram (@marcilyncurtis), or on Facebook (marcilyncurtis).

 

 

Thanks so much again to Victoria for inviting me to be a part of this tour, and thanks to the author, Marci Lyn Curtis, for providing an ARC of the book.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Leading Edge of Now:

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Sky in the Deep – Spoiler Free ARC Review

Sky in the Deep

By Adrienne Young

 

Details:

Title: Sky in the Deep


Author: Adrienne Young


Date of Publication: April 24th, 2018


Publisher: Wednesday Books

 

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of Sky in the Deep in exchange for my honest feedback.

Summary:

            Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family. (Goodreads Summary)

 

My Review 

           As a massive fan of the Vikings TV show as well as the history of the vikings in general, I was looking forward to Sky in the Deep from the moment I read its description on Goodreads, and I did not leave this book disappointed. I managed to finish it in one sitting, and am already dying to get my hands on Young’s next novel.

            I don’t often get to read YA historical fiction/fantasy stories, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Sky in the Deep.  Young manages to build a lush, wonderful world while following what we know of the vikings from history. The story itself had me hooked in from the very first moment with an epic battle scene to start the story off. While reading it, each chapter seems to flow into the next, leaving you wanting more until you reach the very end. It’s both brutal and violent, while also managing to be a touching story about family and loyalty. I especially love the description Young includes in her fighting scenes; she never holds anything back and allows for there to be blood and gore. I don’t want to say too much about the plot in fear of spoiling it, but Young does a fantastic job in pacing her story so it doesn’t feel rushed, letting things occur naturally. Sky in the Deep is truly an incredible Viking inspired story that will not only make your pulse race with adrenaline, but also cause you to appreciate those you have in your life.

            A badass story has to have some badass characters, and Young certainly delivers in that category. Our main character, Eelyn, is a piece of work and I absolutely love her. She is a fierce warrior who loves ferociously, and will do anything to protect those she loves. I loved how we got to see her develop throughout the story from an Aska who hates the Riki with every fiber of her being, to living and fighting amongst them. Fiske, her love interest, is the strong, silent type. He and Eelyn don’t start off on the right foot, but we see them grow together, bringing out the best in one another. Young did a fantastic job in not letting the romance take over the story. Instead, the romance sneaks up on you when you least expect it, and actually adds to the story as a whole. Aside from the two main characters, there are also several other well written characters with tons of personality such as Inge, Halvard, Runa, Iri, Myra, and so many more! I can’t discuss everything I loved about every single one of them without spoiling things–or making this review about five thousand pages long–but I feel I need to mention how Young doesn’t skip out on the character development of any of the side characters as well. I’ve truly finished this book with several new favorite characters who will stay with me for years to come.

                In conclusion, I give Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young four and a half out of five stars for being an exciting, action packed piece of YA historical fiction, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new book to read–but especially to anyone who enjoys the history of the vikings. I can’t wait to see what else Adrienne Young comes out with in the future.

If you would like to purchase Sky in the Deep

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Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy – Book Review

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

By Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Robin Wasserman

WARNING: Spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

 

Details:


Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy


Author: Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Robin Wasserman 


Page Count: 672


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly Books

 

 

Summary:

After being stripped of his memories in City of Heavenly Fire, Simon Lewis goes back to being a normal mundane who knows nothing about the hidden world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders he was once a part of. He remembers he was once friends with Clary, and somehow dated Isabelle Lightwood, but has no idea what happened between them all. Every time he faces his old friends, Simon feels as if he’s letting everyone down by not being the man they knew and loved.

With the re-opening of the Shadowhunter Academy, Simon decides throws himself back into the world of demons and monsters by training to become a Shadowhunter in hope of finding himself again. The Academy is basically a functioning ruin with many, many problems as all the new students are bound to discover, but for Simon it is his chance to bring back who he once was. With a mixture of old favorites as well as several new characters, exciting adventures are bound to occur in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

My Review:  

          I was somewhat cautious going into Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy because Cassandra Clare was not the only author, but I must say I was relieved to find that almost every story had a similar voice to Clare’s past works. There were ten stories in total, and I’d be lying if I said I loved them all equally–some were better than others. Each story followed Simon throughout his time at the Academy and built up to the final story with their own separate arcs. I particularly loved how a majority of the stories offered flashbacks to characters that readers previously met in The Infernal Devices. I felt like the anthology really connected and added something to the Shadowhunter world as a whole rather than being a separate, stand alone collection. My personal favorite from the collection is the final story, “Angels Twice Descending”, because I loved how it combined aspects of all of the stories as well as the twist at the end in which Simon must face  a tragedy which follows Clare’s trend of ripping out and stomping on the hearts of all of her readers. I also have to give an honorary mention to “The Whitechapel Field” because it was about Jack the Ripper, a Shadowhunter world version of Jack the Ripper! My least favorite was probably “The Lost Herondale” because I kind of spoiled myself by reading Lady Midnight before Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, which revealed who the lost Herondale is, and it is not as interesting to me as the other stories, but I like how Catarina was more prominent in it than she is in the other stories. I believe all the stories flowed well together, and it really makes me want to read the other Shadowhunter anthology, The Bane Chronicles.

One particular thing I believe the authors of Tales from the Shadowhunter academy did well is blend the old characters with fresh new faces. Sure, I loved how my old favorites like Magnus, Alec, Jace, Izzy, Clary, and etc. showed back up, but I really loved a majority of the new characters introduced to us at the academy. There’s two main groups at the academy: those with shadowhunter blood, and mundanes who are training to be worthy of becoming shadowhunters by drinking from the Mortal Cup. My personal favorites from the mundane group are George Lovelace and Marisol Garza. I loved George from the very first story when he and Simon are freaking out over a rat in their room, and I came to love Marisol throughout the story because I found she had some of the best character development. My favorite from the Shadowhunter group has to be Beatriz Mendoza because, unlike the rest of her group, she does not look down upon downworlders or the mundanes who are at the academy. Instead, she stands behind them and defends them. My least favorite of the new characters has to be Jon Cartwright–not because his character is terribly written–but because he’s pretty much a terrible person until the last two stories. I’m really glad that Clare chose to continue Simon’s story in this anthology because he really got the short end of the stick in City of Heavenly Fire. We get to see the ‘new’ Simon develop throughout the story and go from being confused about his place in the world, to forging his own path without his past holding him back. All in all I was pleased with the characters, both old and new, throughout the novellas, and I can’t wait to see more of them in future novels.

 

               In conclusion, I give Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy four out of five stars for being a delightful addition to The Shadowhunter Chronicles as well as introducing several new characters I have grown to love. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Cassandra Clare’s work, as long as they have read the entirety of The Mortal Instruments series as well as The Infernal Devices trilogy.

If you would like to purchase Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

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Empire of Storms – Book Review

Empire of Storms

By Sarah J. Maas

Details:


Title: Empire of Storms


Author: Sarah J. Maas


Page Count: 693


Publisher: Bloomsbury 

 

 

 

Summary:

Tensions are high in the world of Erila, as war is brewing on the horizon. Aelin Galathynius has begun forming alliances with the former lords of Terrasen and building her army. She is determined to save not only her people, but the man she loves from the evil Valg queen, Maeve.

As the upcoming war comes closer and closer, Aelin is forced to make some desperate, drastic declension, ultimately deciding the fate of her kingdom. In the end, will her sacrifices be enough to save them all?

My Review:  

           Having been a fan of The Throne of Glass series since the very beginning, I expected nothing less than perfection from Empire of Storms, and Mass pulled through once again with another fantastic installment.

            The already long list of character grown in this addition to the series with some fresh new faces, but Maas doesn’t forget about our favorite, original characters. Everyone from Aelin, to Manon, to Dorian, and beyond further develops, and I’ve found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with this set of characters every day. Manon is now officially my favorite, and I find her story so interesting. I love where Maas has taken her story, and I think it is such a good move on her part to put Dorian and Manon together. Aelin is still as problematic as ever, but I grew to respect her more throughout this novel. I still think her relationship with Rowan is a bit annoying and creepy to be honest, but by the time I read that ending I was sobbing for their sakes. There isn’t much more I can say without spoiling the series for those who have not read the series yet, but just know that everything about the characters gets better as the series goes on.

             At almost 700 pages, Empire of Storms is the longest book in the Throne of Glass series, but it moves faster than the rest and is filled to the brim with action packed drama. The tension is tangible throughout the novel with war a war brewing, and I know that all the minor battles described in this book are going to be nothing compared to the full fleged war we expect to come in the sixth installment, but I still can’t help but be impressed with Maas’ ability to go from a romantic scene to one where Aelin is literally ripping off someones head in the span of a few pages without making it feel broken up and disjointed. The different character POVs throughout the story allowed for us readers to experience stuff beyond Aelin, truly opening up the world. I briefly mentioned the ending earlier, and oh my god–THAT was an ending. It caught me off guard, and I’m so mad at Maas for doing that to me, but so happy with how she’s setting up the next book in the series. 

                In conclusion, I give Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas four out of five stars for being another fantastic installment in one of my favorite series of all time, as well as leaving all of us readers on a cliffhanger, setting up the next installment. I highly recommend the Throne of Glass series to anyone who loves fantasy, and hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

If you would like to purchase Empire of Storms

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer – ARC Review

Renegades

By Marissa Meyer

 

Details:


Title: Renegades


Author: Marissa Meyer


Page Count: 576


Publisher: Feiwel & Friends


Pub. Date: November 7th, 2017



Synopsis:


Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

 

My Review:  

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Renegades through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

            With a vague synopsis that didn’t give me much aside from Sky High (an old Disney channel original movie) vibes, I didn’t know quite what I was in for when I started reading Renegades, but I put my faith in Marissa Meyer’s very capable hands, and I shall never doubt her skills again.

            I can’t say too much about the plot since this is an ARC review and I don’t want to spoil anything, but it was very well written, action packed, and unpredictable. It’s one of those stories that begins in the middle of the action–literally starting in an assassination attempt–and I think it works very well for Renegades because it sets the pace for the rest of the story. The first few chapters read slightly slower than the rest of the book, but from the moment Nova decides that she is going to act as a double agent for the Anarchists by entering the trials to become a Renegade, I found myself sucked in and unable to put it down, constantly being hit with twists and turns as soon as I started to believe I had figured it out. I must say that the plot twist at the end truly shocked me, and I can’t believe I have to wait so long to see what happens next!

            Meyer’s vivid descriptions throughout the novel really help to transport the reader into the world of Renegades and Anarchists. She not only gives a fantastic visual description of Gatlon City including everything from the Renegades’ headquarters, to the Anarchists’ subway tunnels, to every individual street vendor’s cart and product which makes the city come alive in our minds, but also describes the city’s rich history with the Age of Anarchy and the Battle for Gatlon which allows us to truly feel and sense the tension and uneasiness present in the city. The only thing I wish she had included more of was the history of how prodigies came to be because I thought that their powers were one of the coolest aspects in the story, and she could have expanded more on them.

            There is an expansive list of characters in Renegades which is already hard to keep track of, but with many of them being either superheroes or villains, a lot of them have aliases which makes it even more difficult! For the first few chapters I found myself unable to tell who was who or who had what powers, but eventually got the hang of it. I really enjoyed Nova and Adrian, the two main characters, and thought that Meyer did a good job in giving them interesting backstories which connected to their internal drives. Nova is an Anarchist who wants to destroy the renegades because of what they did to her uncle and possesses the power to put anyone she touches to sleep, and Adrian is a Renegade who wants to find the Anarchists responsible for murdering his mother and has the ability to make anything he draws come to life. Of course there is a bit of romance between the two of them, but it isn’t instalove, and I really enjoyed the way Meyer incorporated it into the story as to make it not feel forced. The POV switches between them throughout the story, giving the reader the point of view of both an Anarchist and a Renegade, allowing them to decide which side they believe to be in the wrong. Aside from the main characters I must say I found the rest to be a bit lacking. Some of them had half-decent back stories and character development, as if some were just lost or forgotten along the way. I did enjoy the Anarchist entourage of Ingrid, Lyon, Phobia, and Honey–I just wish there was more of them, and as for the Renegades, I felt that a few of the characters were present only for their powers. Overall, I believe Meyer did a good job with her characters.

                In conclusion, I give Renegades by Marissa Meyer four out of five stars for being a fantastic, action-packed start to a new series, and I highly suggest it to anyone who’s a fan of YA, but especially to fans of D.C., Marvel, and superheroes in general. Also, there’s a pre-order promotion going on, so if you send in proof of your pre-order to the publisher HERE you can get either a Renegade or Anarchist button pack–and you get to pick! 

 

If you would like to pre-order Renegades

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

-CG

 

Top 5 Books of 2016

Top 5 Books of 2016!

                   2016: A great year for reading, but a shit year for almost everything else. I read so many amazing books this year, I don’t know how I’m going to cut it down to just five, but without any further ado (and in no particular order), here are my top 5 books of 2016!

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY

I could not make this list without including at least one Sarah J. Mass book, and ACOMAF beat out Empire of Storms for me. I thought that ACOMAF was incredible and far, far better than ACOTAR. ACOTAR was one of my favorite reads of 2015, so for ACOMAF to beat it out is simply amazing. I thought Mass did a fantastic job in developing the characters of Feyre and Rhys more deeply, and I absolutely loved all the new characters she added and where she is taking the story.

 

If you would like to purchase ACOMAF:

CROOKED KINGDOM

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Another big surprise, Crooked Kingdom made my list. Crooked Kingdom was absolutely fantastic! 2016 may have been the year of sequels Leigh Bardugo has earned the title as one of my favorite authors with her incredible novels. Six of Crows left me on the edge of my seat, and I waited so, so long to see what would become of the cliffhanger ending, and I was not at all disappointed. A full review should be coming soon, so be on the lookout for that!

If you would like to purchase Crooked Kingdom:

LADY MIDNIGHT

Aaaaannnnd once again you should not be surprised to see Lady Midnight on my top five list. If you’ve been following me or reading my blog for any amount of time you should be able to tell how much of a Cassandra Clare fan I am. Lady Midnight was the perfect start to The Dark Artifices series, and is filled with even more amazing characters for me to love. I thought that it was fun filled, action packed, and is soon to be one of my favorite series when the rest of the books come out.

 

If you would like to purchase Lady Midnight:

P.S. I LIKE YOU

One of the most surprising books of the year for me was P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. I’m not normally one for contemporary romance, but when I received this in an Owlcrate box, I couldn’t resist picking it up. This book was like a breath of fresh air as well as a nice break from all the intense fantasy books I was reading. It was so funny and cute, and it actually helped me get out of a reading slump.

 

If you would like to purchase P.S. I Like You:

THE RAVEN BOYS SERIES

Ok, so I’m kind of cheating with this one because it’s not a book, it’s a series, and only one of them came out in 2016, but I read this series for the first time this year, and it was incredible! I never quite understood what The Raven Boys was about from the synopsis, but I’m glad I went in blind because it made the reading experience so much more fun. I thought that Stiefvater did an amazing job in creating a story unlike any other, and making the reader really feel something for the characters. #SaveGansey

If you would like to purchase The Raven Boys:

 

 

And that’s it for my favorite books/reads of 2016! These are only some of my favorite reads because of course I wasn’t able to put them all in. I want to know in the comments what were your favorite reads of 2016 and what books are you looking forward to the most in 2017? Happy New Year!

– CG