Posted in Reviews

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas (ACOTAR #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Verdict: Meh. Better than the first but I still won’t be continuing

Recommended: if you’re on the fence about continuing the series, this book will probably decide it for you.

Summary

Feyre has undergone more trials than one human woman can carry in her heart. Though she’s now been granted the powers and lifespan of the High Fae, she is haunted by her time Under the Mountain and the terrible deeds she performed to save the lives of Tamlin and his people.

As her marriage to Tamlin approaches, Feyre’s hollowness and nightmares consume her. She finds herself split into two different people: one who upholds her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court, and one who lives out her life in the Spring Court with Tamlin. While Feyre navigates a dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms. She might just be the key to stopping it, but only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future-and the future of a world in turmoil.

Thoughts

I was absolutely done with this series after how freakin’ boring the first book was. Quite disappointingly so. Tamlin was 100% unlikable for me, nothing really seemed to HAPPEN for about 75% of the book, and the ending “mystery” was so annoyingly obvious that imagining the character struggling with it made them unlikably stupid. (Maybe unlikably isn’t a word but I’m using it anyway.) So I was not going to read this book until a friend who loved the series said that book two goes in a different direction entirely and might make me like it more.

They were correct that I like it more, but I still don’t care enough to finish the series. The overall story and character style is just not working for me this time. The all-powerful chosen one theme is boring the heck out of me in this story and taking away some of my investment. If they’re so all powerful and can wipe out the world with a thought, how are they struggling with so many things? Anyway.

Continue reading “Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas (ACOTAR #2)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Obsidian Butterfly by Lani Forbes, 2/15/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Obsidian Butterfly by Lani Forbes! (There are spoilers in this post for the first and second books due to it being the 3rd book in the series!).

While I am so excited for this conclusion to a series I’ve been reading since I was immediately entranced by an advanced copy of the first book… it also comes with really sad news. Lani Forbes, the author, recently died due to cancer. She had been living with it for a while, but on February 3rd this year, she passed, just before releasing her last story to the world. I can only speak to her professional side personally, and judging by this series, it’s a huge loss for the creative community and lovers of fantasy. From those around her, though, she was a thoroughly wonderful person. If you’d like to help out, her family has a donation account to help with funeral and end-of-life expenses.
Expected Release: February 15, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • Well obviously for a third and final book in a series, I’m pumped about just seeing where the story goes, right? Everything has gone positively mad, and I have no idea how it will resolve. It will be wonderful. 😍
  • In book 2 we met characters from the region of the world that’s characterized as the big bads who are killing and going to war with the kingdom we’ve been in so far. And, surprise surprise, things are a little more complex than a good-vs-evil situation. I adore gray areas, and I adore romances where it involved people learning each others complexities.
  • BIG SPOILER FOR BOOKS 1 & 2!!!:
    I actually haven’t even read the summary for this book, because I don’t want to go into it with ANYTHING besides the craziness from the first two books! Now that they’re back above ground — and in “enemy” territory — what on earth are the going to do after defeating death? Will the gods of death seek vengeance? Will they be sacrificed, or praised as heroes? Will the sun rise anymore??

Summary

To the Chicome people, an eclipse is a time of terror. When darkness falls, the barrier separating the heavens and the earth becomes unstable. Then come the ravening Tzitzimime–the star demons who thirst for human blood. Mayana and Ahkin know the full extent of the coming danger, but they must gather support or the Chicome Empire is doomed.

As the eclipse nears, many maneuver for power in this deadly game of worlds ending.

Metzi, Ahkin’s treacherous sister, has seized control of the empire with the aid of the malevolent goddess known as the Obsidian Butterfly. But Metzi has no idea what the goddess has in store…

Yemania and Ochix face the wrath of both their peoples. Their forbidden liaison may draw ancient enemies together… or rip the young lovers apart forever.

And the princesses who battled fiercely for Ahkin’s heart in The Seventh Sun meet again–but this time, they must join forces in order to survive.

As for Ahkin and Mayana, the entire empire seems to want to keep them apart. Can their love endure the end of the world?

Posted in Reviews

Review: Spark (Fire Within #4) by Ella M. Lee

Spark by Ella M. Lee
Here’s book 1, book 2, and book 3!

Recommended: yo, if you’ve come this far into the series you’re OBVIOUSLY not stopping here. YES READ IT!!!!

Summary

It’s been nearly a year since the extraordinary but devastating creation of Lightning Clan, and Fiona Ember is still reeling from starting over yet again—without her closest friend. Although the clan has painstakingly continued their work of taming the persnickety magic, Fiona is having a hard time embracing her new power and letting the past go.

But when a message arrives from Sky Clan inviting Fiona, Nicolas, and Ryan to a conclave of the pinnacle members from all nine clans, she can no longer ignore her newfound place in the magical world. The other clans will be looking for answers about the new magic, and not all the questions will be easy.

To make things more difficult, anomalies have appeared in Lightning’s sanctum that could change everything magicians have ever known to be true about magic—if only Lightning could puzzle out their exact nature.

Thoughts

After the ending of the third book, I think there’s no surprise that there’s a lot going on at the start of this one, and primarily sad things. Chaotic things. Grief features heavily, so brace yourself because it’s really really tough at times how raw it was. I cried a lot at the end of the last book, and this one was no different. Ella M Lee has a string attached directly to my tear ducts.

My suspicions about what this book would entail were 50% correct. I predicted one of the main plot points, but that was about it. The details of how things occurred, the resolutions of several other large problems, and the very last pages were all fitting with the characters and the decisions they would make. After binge reading 4 books in this fabulous series, I feel really attached with the characters and their lives. It was really hard at times when characters made decisions that were SO in tune with who they are, but absolutely broke my heart for them to make.

While I’m a softie and I cried a lot as always, this was still full of hope and drama and excitement. The bulk of the book takes place during a clan event, so there was a lot to learn about some of the other clans we haven’t seen as much of yet. The politicking was also on full display, along with some intriguing new rules of the magic world. The world-building and lore and rules of magic are a core draw for me for any fantasy novel, and Lee delivered in this installment. The knowledge building aligned us with Fiona as she learned through it all as well.

And of course, we FINALLY get to learn about Lightning magic!! Yo, it’s cool as shit. Promise: it does not disappoint.

This book is best defined by the word bittersweet. While I could have immediately dove into book 5, and absolutely wanted to, I paused here to just let it sit for a little while. This whole arc was extremely intense and I wanted to soak in all the questions, because I can never experience these for the first time again (barring some horrible amnesiac event which I hope does not occur). And I can say that after a few weeks of finishing this book (in two days…), I’m still thinking about it and marveling at how very extremely good it is.

I’m ready for book five.

Break my heart again, Lee.

Thank you to Booksirens and Ella M Lee for a free digital copy. This is my honest review!

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Key To Fear by Kristin Cast

The Key to Fear by Kristin Cast
Verdict: eh. The second book would probably be better

Summary

The Key to Fear (The Key Series Book 1)

 To Health.To Life.To the Future.

We are The Key.

‘No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

Elodie obeys The Key. Elodie obeys the rules. Elodie trusts in the system. At least, Elodie used to…

Aidan is a rebel. Aidan doesn’t do what he’s told. Aidan just wants to be free. Aidan is on his last chance…

After a pandemic wiped out most of the human race, The Key took power. The Key dictates the rules. They govern in order to keep people safe. But as Elodie and Aidan begin to discover there is another side to The Key, they realise not everything is as it seems.

Rather than playing protector, The Key are playing God. 

Thoughts

This was better than I expected, because for some reason I kind of expected this to be a B-tier book. I thought it would have somewhat subpar writing, and maybe kind of flat characters, and the plot would be kind of predictable. I guess I forgot that Kristin Cast wrote this, and they have a lot of experience writing books (which I used to love as a teen). So the writing was definitely better than I thought it would be going in!

The rest of it, though….

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Posted in Chatty, TL;DR

Beast Boy & my Teen Titans obsession

Hey y’all,

If you missed my recent Fast Forward Friday about it, Beast Boy Loves Raven came out yesterday! Oddly though, I actually hadn’t yet read Beast Boy, the second in the series. I’ve had a line on it from the library since it came out last year. I’ve looked at it multiple times and thought, I’m so excited to read this. I read a sample of it in Raven and couldn’t wait, yet once I had the chance, I WAITED!

I’m so glad I did though. 🥰 I finished Beast Boy this morning and was 100% in love with Gar. I hated that I had turned the last page because I desperately wanted to continue on the journey with him!

So THANK GOODNESS that Beast Boy Loves Raven had just become available! I dove immediately into it and plowed through in one sitting. One l o n g sitting, because I kept going back pages to check out the details, or examining all the background elements and characters. If you loved the others, you will preeeetty much definitely love this one. I really hope we see more of Tank and Stella from Beast Boy because I kind of fell in love with them too. Yet the monkey sticks around??

Continue reading “Beast Boy & my Teen Titans obsession”
Posted in Book Talk

This series is hot!! 24 sequels with “Fire” in the title

Hey y’all!

I was just messing around today searching book results by random words, and one of them struck me: fire. For some reason, fire seems to be in a lot of titles of books within a series. In particular, books later in a series seem to have the word fire in the title more often than the first book of the series. And, of course, I have a theory as to why. But first: check out how many there are!!!

Continue reading “This series is hot!! 24 sequels with “Fire” in the title”
Posted in Reviews

Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae

The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae (sequel to The Kinder Poison)

Recommended: sure
For continuing the series, for a lot of character development

Summary

SPOILERS FOR THE KINDER POISON!

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?

Thoughts

This got points for being a really interesting character line, which I couldn’t predict at all (in a really good way!). This lost points for having objectively very little actually happen for most of the book. I didn’t really notice while reading it, but looking back I’m realizing how the plot was pretty sparse. Especially in comparison to the first which was obviously pretty packed with action, the sequel is a lot more focused on the characters and the way they’re growing and changing.

Continue reading “Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Vow So Bold and Deadly, 1/12/21

Hey y’all! It’s the first Friday of the year, and the first day of the year! Whoo, I guess! But hey, I’m not breaking tradition just because of a page flip on a calendar: today’s Friday, and I’m looking forward to a book coming out (blessedly) soon. Saying I’m looking forward to A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer almost feels like cheating since it’s such a hugely popular release. BUT: I also never thought I would actually be interested in it! So here’s what changed my mind…

Why wait on this one?

  • Since this is the third (and final) book in the series, I’ve of course already read the other two (A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart so Fierce and Broken). So obviously my first reason for being excited for this book is TO KNOW THE ENDING! We’ve come a long way in this story, and met a lot of different characters, and jumped ship probably a million times. So. Now what, Brigid?
  • I’m particularly intrigued in this book as a tiebreaker book between the first two. The styles changed dramatically from book one to book two, and we even changed character perspectives entirely (which was not a wildly popular choice for some people). So, I want to know who we’re going to hear from now! Will it be all four main-ish characters? Just two of them? Written in third person omniscient?! WHO KNOWS! I’m terribly curious to see how she’ll wrap this up
  • Remember how I said I never thought I’d actually be into this series? Well that’s because it was so obnoxiously overly hyped and popular for so long that I hated it just for that. I figured it would be a pretty generic girl-ends-up-in-faerie-land story, and boy was I wrong. I love the way Harper’s disability is just a part of who she is, instead of defining her entirely. I love the complex relationship dynamics between Grey and Rhen. Admittedly Lia Mara is not really that compelling for me, but she is now a pretty important player in the game so she better step it up. I love the world and characters now, so I’m seeing it through to the end.

summary

Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.

Posted in Reviews

Review: May Day by Josie Jaffrey

May Day by Josie Jaffrey – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Vampires, murder investigation, competing love interests, dark humour…. Yup. That was a good risk. 😍

Recommended: yes!
For a captivating mystery blended with delicious sensuality, for humor both dark and light, for intense personal introspection from the main character

Summary:
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one. It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake. When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does. To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die. Body bags on standby.

Thoughts:
Although I don’t usually read mysteries, the blend of vampires and the offbeat main character made me take a chance on this one. I am so glad I did!

It’s a mystery at heart, and I absolutely did not guess the resolution. That, for me, is a large part of what makes reading a mystery fun: the ah-ha! moment when it all pieces together at the end. However there’s enough puzzle remaining that I’m ready to read the next book already! I want to know how the others fall into these shady dealings.

Continue reading “Review: May Day by Josie Jaffrey”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Maas Whiplash: A Surprising, Yet Not, Disappointment

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas came out five years ago. I’ve only just read it. Why is that surprising? Well, I absolutely loved the whole Throne of Glass series, and trusted Maas as a fantastic fantasy writer for my tastes. In particular, I liked her for her envisioning of fae and other magical creatures.

And yet… when this book was published I just had this niggling feeling that it wouldn’t quite work for me. Around this time, I had also had this exchange with a friend:

Mackenzie: How did you like Snow Like Ashes? Did you finish it?
Me: It was okay. It was really unique though, the world was divided into regions that each had only one season, all the time! I’ve never read a story like that.
Mackenzie: *snorts* *pulls out her current book and opens to this map on the front page*

Continue reading “Maas Whiplash: A Surprising, Yet Not, Disappointment”