Tag: Fantasy (Page 1 of 108)

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) by Alyson Noel

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) by Alyson NoelStealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1)
by Alyson Noel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

These days, I’ve been killing it when it comes to letting people down. Now I’ve been kicked out of high school, arrested, and accepted into a remote, off-the-grid school owned and operated by an inscrutable billionaire tech guru.

Gray Wolf Academy is looking for a certain kind of student. Ones that no one will miss. Like me.

Then there’s Braxton. The beautiful, oddly anachronistic guy who showed up right when the trouble started. And he’s a total enigma―which means that I definitely can’t trust him, even if there’s something about him that makes me want to.

They all tell me I have a gift. A very rare gift. And Gray Wolf Academy wants me to learn it. To use it. Because if what they say is true, I have all the time in the world.

And that makes me the most dangerous high school student you’ll never know…

Review:

When you can’t go back, the only choice left is to move forward.

Stealing Infinity was a unique fantasy that kept me guessing!  With a premise of traveling into the past, and an academy setting, this book completely intrigued me.  If you love young adult, academy or time traveling, then you’ll want this one on your tbr!

“What the hell is happening?”
Last thing I remember, before I black out, is the feel of Braxton’s arms breaking my fall.
“Oh darling,” he says. “I’m afraid you’re about to find out.”

Natasha seemed to be struggling to get by.  Not only in life, but financially and with her mother too.  Her dad disappeared when she was younger and her one constant was her fabulous friend, Mason.  She also had Elodie as a friend, but she seemed to have ‘bad friend choice’ written all over her lol.  Elodie was flashy, people were obsessed with her and she took Natasha on adventures instead of being in school, where she belonged.  After being arrested and kicked out of school, Natasha was shipped off to a remote school where her entire world completely changed.

“You’ve been accepted into Gray Wolf Academy.” He waits, like he’s expecting me to be grateful or something.
“Yeah, no thanks.” I stab another forkful of buttermilk pancake and lift it to my mouth. Taking great satisfaction in the way Braxton stares at me in shock.

I liked Natasha right away.  I loved how confident she could be.  She was so sure of herself, even when she faltered.  So as we slowly started to learn about this new world, it was right along with Natasha.  Not all was what it seemed, and I wanted to scream at her to be suspicious.  Yes she was given weird answers at times, but she was smart and cunning.  So I was thankful when she started to put stuff together.  Add in that we got to see memories from her past and it completely rounded out this story.  Those memories were like clues leading to her future.  And I couldn’t wait to see how it all went together.

On my waist, I can feel the ghost of his hand.
There’s a place on my neck where his lips continue to haunt.
And I have no idea what to do with any of that.

Braxton, hmmm.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of him.  Could he be trusted?  I loved how he got flustered around Natasha and that he made Natasha feel cared for.  But he could also be hot and cold with her.  So there were many moments I desperately wished we knew his thoughts.  I understood why she liked him, but call me a skeptic….I hesitated with him.  So when Killian stepped onto the pages, he garnered all of my attention.  Yes he intrigued me too, but there was just something about him that so easily captured my attention.  He was brave, heroic, took chances and caused all of the butterflies. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I’m hoping for a love triangle because goodbye Braxton and hello Killian.  Please?  Pretty please?

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together, but I’ve got a terrible feeling about the image they’re forming.

Stealing Infinity was a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to reading that next book!  With so many other characters in the pages, I had some strong opinions and I can’t wait to see if I’m right down the road.  And I loved that this book started in the past, her father gave us a glimpse that was filled with so much knowledge. So after finishing this story, I went back and read that prologue and eeps, soooo many things clicked into place!  I highly recommend doing that too!  Finishing that last page we were left at a good stopping point but also left us wanting more!  Come on next book!

With my back against the wall, I crouch low in the shadows, head bent in submission, hands pressed together as though praying for redemption.
Whoever it is, they’re in for a surprise.
I am not the broken girl they’re expecting to find.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: House of Beating Wings (The Kingdom of Crows #1) by Olivia Wildenstein

BOOK REVIEW: House of Beating Wings (The Kingdom of Crows #1) by Olivia WildensteinHouse of Beating Wings (The Kingdom of Crows #1)
by Olivia Wildenstein
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

FREE THE CROWS, FALLON, AND THEY WILL MAKE YOU QUEEN.

Until an oracle predicted my regal future, I'd never imagined myself rising above the curve of my round ears. After all, I was the magicless halfling loved by beasts but loathed by every pure-blooded faerie at court. Well . . . by all but one.

Dante Regio, prince of Luce, had owned my heart since he gave me my first kiss. If gathering a slew of iron relics could help me overthrow the current monarch and crown his brother to rule at my side, then treasure hunting I'd go.

If only the oracle had warned me what winged demon I was releasing into the world.

And that I'd become this demon's obsession.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas and Mary E. Pearson will devour this epic fantasy romance full of deceit, betrayal, and false loves that could swallow a person whole.

Review:

House of Beating Wings completely consumed me.  This magical world filled with fae grabbed a hold of my heart and refused to let go.  There was peril and heart stopping moments within the pages!  Truces were made with consequences attached to them.  And the characters and story-line leaped from the pages!  Fans of fantasy won’t be able to put this story down!

Antoni squeezes my waist. “One day soon, there’ll be peace.” 
I frown because I hadn’t realized we were at war.

Fallon was a magicless halfling who was given a prophecy, free the crows and they will make you queen.  Being loathed by the full blooded fae, Fallon was intrigued to go above her station.  Especially since she saw a chance with having a future with her friend, Dante.  Who was brother to the crown.  Fallon’s world was changed forever when she started her quest to free the crows!

I’ve stolen a mythical, murderous creature. I shudder as the depth of what I’ve done folds over me like dark water.

I loved Fallon!  She was brave, head strong, honest, had a good heart and loved her friends.  Because of her rounded ears, she was discriminated against and it hurt my heart.  Yet there was so much more to Fallon than meets the eye.  She could supposedly charm the beasts that lived in their waters.  And one of them captured my heart, I was just as nervous for his fate and I was for Fallon’s.  I was also so nervous for Fallon because she seemed to have all of her faith and trust in Dante.  And as her Grandma reminded her, they could never be.  Yet the key to her future revolved around releasing the crows, so we jumped head first into a spellbinding adventure with Fallon!

“Don’t betray me and I won’t betray you.”

The romance in this book will keep you on your toes!  It was brilliant how it all unfolded.  I found myself vacillating between Antoni and Dante.  I didn’t know which one would be the right choice for Fallon and I liked them both for different reasons.  But hold on, because a few somethings happened and my mind was reeling.  The story took me somewhere that had my pulse pounding, I beyond ecstatic and it was absolutely genius!  Fans of slow burn romance are going to love it!

“You’re such an ass.”The chuckle that resounds between my temples widens  my eyes. “Did you just . . . laugh, Morrgot?”
A charmless ass like  myself laugh? You must be hearing things.

The crows, oh there is so much I want to say but my lips are zipped except for a few things. Dark sarcasm, it was phenomenal! The lengths that were went to to protect, oh my heart there was nothing that was off limits.  And the way Fallon was led, there were so many secrets and twists within the pages.  I loved watching the little pieces of the puzzle come together.  Looking back some of my guesses were correct!  Others I didn’t even see coming.  I don’t even know how many times I gasped out loud or was muttering omg again and again to myself.  This story blew my mind!

I’m not defective. 
My lids burn. My chest hurts from how chaotically my heart beats. 
I’m not defective.

With a richly imagined world, a dark and luscious story and characters that were brilliantly done, House of Beating Wings was a phenomenal start to a new series!  This story kept me glued to the pages and consumed my every waking thought.  The ending left us at the perfect stopping spot  but I’m anxiously dying for that next book, I have to know what happens next.  Fans of fantasy should definitely have this book on their tbr!

I won’t fail you, I whisper through the bond.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie GarberThe Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The fiercely-anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak.

Not every love is meant to be.

After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she'll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can. . . .

Jacks shot her a glare.
“Don’t look at me like that. I saw the way you looked when you arrived here with your arm around her shoulders.”
“How did I look?”
“Like you would kill for her.”

So many books come and go in my life that I tend to move on quickly, forget them. Some have lasting power, sure. Some make me pine for them until their respective series are complete, then they disappear from my mind as quickly as a wisp into the wind. Some authors write just well enough I love the books, buy a copy, and obsess for a bit…but years fly by and all of a sudden I can’t remember why I loved it so much at the time. Then there are some authors that have something special that makes their stories sticky like glue, stuck in every fiber of your being with the realization you may remember every. Single. Detail. And every. Single. Character. Until your body has left this earth-the literal day you die.

Evangeline’s heart was still racing, and she wondered now if it wasn’t scared or nervous but if it was just trying to catch up to all the moments before they disappeared-before he disappeared.

And, look, okay-Dramatic much? I don’t know if this series is an ‘I’m obsessed in this moment’ or an ‘I will die with these pages crumbling to dust in my cold dead hands’ type of story…but, currently, it’s sitting pretty high alongside a few favorites I’ve never forgotten a single detail about-and those date back to childhood. So….I don’t know. I truly hope this is in the latter category, because as of right now? I am crumbling, tumbling, disintegrating into a pile of ash as I slowly lose my mind over what this evil. Chaotic. Out to freaking KILL me author has done to my not-so-innocent soul. That’s right. She got me. She got me BLEEPING good.

She knew Jacks was far too dangerous a person to truly fall for. But she could no longer deny that it was happening. She couldn’t deny that she wanted him. Just enough to keep her from pulling away every time he touched her. Enough to keep his name near the tip of her tongue even when he wasn’t in the room.

I’ll admit-again that I went into this Garber novel kind of…ugh…kind of expecting the worst. Again. Again. Again. But listen, hear me out-So many times. So. Many. FREAKING. Times. These authors produce epicccccccc over the top amazzinnnnngggg first works in a series and, being the first book loving kinda gal I am, I fall hard. I fall fast. I fall like clockwork repeatedly, unbearably, incessantly hard. Ask any of my friends-as far as series go, I’m a dreamer. But, over time, I’ve become cynical. Bitter. I don’t trust many authors anymore because yes, they produce well-written novels, but they fail to create that everlasting magic that sings to your soul and rings true to your chaotic heart so that when your mind needs an escape, it doesn’t escape to some other drivel, it escapes to THAT author’s books….and, okay, so SUE me, after being so shocked by Jacks’s first book, I didn’t think it possible that I’d find myself here, obsessed, again. Yet….here we are. HOW. HOW. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES SHE DO IT.

Maybe that was really why she thought she was falling, because the feeling plummeting toward something uncontrollable with nothing but Jacks to hold on to had never actually stopped.

And what we seem to have here is a perfect case of an author creating an absolute SMASH HIT of a series that won so many people over and I think there are like…..10?….different editions. I don’t know-there’s a lot. And yes, I loved them-I did. But I’m a huge believer in third book syndrome. I almost always hate the third book (hey, it used to be the second, but now I’ve come to love the chaos of book twos, so hello fellow book two appreciators) because it’s almost like the author doesn’t know how to fit things into a box neatly to tie of all loose threads, but not make it too easy, contrived, convenient. Too clean. Too neat. And I think that happened with Finale? I loved it, but I didn’t get my big Dante scene, and I’m also super horrible about needing my heroes that still (yes he still had LOADS to prove of himself) aren’t on the complete up and up of deserving our heroines getting their *divine moment* (Arielle, heh heh). This did not happen. And I think….I THINK…this may be why I lost the obsessed bug I felt while reading the series.

Evangeline felt a rush of blood to her ears, yet she could still hear a tiny voice telling her she was about to make a mistake. But what was the mistake-trusting Jacks or running from him?

Now. Here. We have this dude who was an utter JERK in the Caraval trilogy (ie he was our plot device to further Mr. Dante) and just…I didn’t get him. I didn’t get him at. ALLLL. I even remember my bestie texting me so excited and tagging me on this new Garber novel ‘featured in the world of Caraval’ and I just…didn’t care. I went ahead and went through my nerdy ways and ordered every edition possible because okay they were so so SoOoOoO pretty. Why? I’ve got issues. That’s why. And, as I stated in my book one review, I think-deep deep deep deep down-I knew. I knew what this series would come to mean to me. That my blasé attitude would lead to my ultimate demise and why NOT get those pretty editions *just* in case. Yeah. Ha. Anyone who has ever missed out on a Garber series pre-order knows the pain of trying to collect ALLLLL the pretties post publication. Bankrupt, anyone? Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen to this guy, nosiree.

“The answer is no, and it will always be no.”
Jacks crossed his arms and leaned against the bedpost. “If you really think that, then you lack imagination.”
Evangeline bristled. “I do not lack imagination. I merely possess determination.”
“So do I.” Jacks’s eyes flickered with something malevolent. “This is your last chance to change your mind.”
“Or what?” Evangeline asked.
“You’ll really start to hate me.”
“Perhaps I look forward to hating you.”
The corner of Jacks’s poisonous mouth twitched as if the idea vaguely entertained him.

Sigh. So. Why all this craziness? Well, I’ll tell you. Jacks-if you cannot tell-has become (among many other men, (shut up, shh, I don’t care, shhhhhhhhhh)) the center of my universe. And, naturally, Stephanie has made it her personal EFFING mission to rip my soul to shreds. TO LITERALLY OBLITERATE IT into tiny fissures that crack not only my heart, but make sure they bleed to my other organs and crack the bones, too, because why not?? I literally don’t know when or how or WHY this woman has chosen to prolong what I had thought/been told/ assumed was a duology…but she did it without ANYONE (far as I’m aware) knowing and I just…as I watched the percent slowly [not slow at all, actually] dwindle to nothing I knew deep in my ever loving soul that this was either going to be a TERRIBLE ending (which it was) or a TERRIBLE ending CLIFFHANGER that I had to wait (unwittingly) until next year to cease the ache that I call an erratic heartbeat. And…I still….days later….am in a deep, intense fog about what I’m supposed to do with my life because every. Single. Time (how many times am I going to type the same things over, really) I flash back to this book and it’s end I get a flash flood of such intense feelings it takes my breath away, I can’t breathe, and I immediately get a shot of adrenaline to my veins. Frankly it’s both wonderful and absolutely, terribly heartbreaking. Maddening. It’s torture. ABSOLUTE TORTURE because I THOUGHT I WAS ON MY WAY TO THE END BUT SHE SURPRISED ME WITH THE MOST AMAZING CRUEL CLIFFHANGER EVER AND THEY ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BUT IT SHOCKED ME SO THAT’S A CHEAP SHOT SO HERE WE ARE.

She used to think love was like a house. Once it was built, a person got to live in it forever. But now she wondered if love was more like a war with new foes constantly appearing and battles creeping up. Winning at love was less about succeeding in a battle and more about continuing to fight, to choose the person you loved as the one you were willing to die for, over and over.

I’ll try to calm down so you can read an actual review of the actual book, but I’m sorry-this woman killed me. Anyway. I digress. If anyone follows me at all, or read my first review of OUABH, they would see that-much like this review-I was shocked and living it up in my feels. I said some things-predictions, if you will-that I wanted to happen. I guessed about what Jacks was going to have to go through. How he would fall madly. How he would get jealous-he’s a fate, after all, I said. I stated that there had to be [I needed] some ‘chaos, heartbreak, and destruction’. And…I simply called that this book would be an absolute evil little gem, if I were to generalize it. At least, to make this successful, for ME, it would HAVE to be an evil little monster of a book, because Jacks isn’t your typical morally gray hero (again, I imploringly ask, WHAT EVEN IS JACKS???)-he needs some angst thrown in. Some spice. Some denial. Some mind games…some flare.

Evangeline forced herself to stop beneath the amber glow of a garden lamp shaped like a bowing flower. Cold bit her cheeks and licked her hands, but Jacks didn’t so much as shiver as he strode toward her, indifferent to the bitter air that froze the tips of his hair and lashes. He slid through the icy night like a slow-falling star, all unearthly eyes and graceful moves.

Ha. HAHAHHAHAAH oh you get that. Yeah you get it. You’ll see. And I’ve never quite been both so happy and so mortified to be correct in some of my guesses and predictions. I kid you not, I am NEVER right. So, I guess you could say I read Garber like a book (HAHAH). But she had the last laugh, in the end.

“I hurt everyone, Little Fox. But you have to be alive to hate me.” His eyes iced over. “I do not want you dead, and I’ll kill anyone who tries.”

Much like Jacks, Evangeline adopted some new behaviors, but she was still the same sweet, hopeful girl from book one. And while the naivety was gone, she was a bit TOO on the nose in assuming things one way or another. Yes, this is what you see, but what is the TRUTH, really? Are you actually seeing ALL of the truth…or what someone else wants you to see? And I will admit there were some repetitive moments/ thoughts/ themes…but I just didn’t care because this was nothing short of a magnificent book.

It might have just been all the wine coursing through her, but for a moment, Evangeline didn’t feel as if she were in a ballroom, she felt as if she were in the center of a hundred stories. Love stories and tragedies and tales with endings lost to time. And suddenly, her worries felt lost as well, swept away by a feeling that her life was one of those stories. She’d known it vaguely, but it wasn’t until then that the enormity of it hit her.

And, you know, I was nervous. We covered this. So I was quick to judge the beginning like, alright here we go-predictable. That lasted all of two seconds before I was blown right out of the park with such a freaking CLEVER way to cause strife that I couldn’t help but gasp and clutch my imaginary pearls and simply APPLAUD this beautifully twisted author’s mind as she wove together a story I’d have NEVER thought possible as I read book one. I mean-One-BRAVO. Two-THE SIGNIFICANCE. Three-THE HEARTACHE. Four-the utter ingenuity Five-THE WAY. THIS WOMAN. MAKES EVERY. BOOK COVER. COUNT. I see you, Stephanie. I see you-and I like this evil little flag you fly. I am SO happy you have spread your wings and chosen violence. May you wake up EVERY DAY and aim to wreck my soul. With this writing, I’d follow you ANYWHERE.

“We shouldn’t do this,” she said.
“I’m just asking you to stay the night.” His lips left her neck as he murmured, “You won’t even remember.”
Evangeline tensed in his arms. “What do you mean, I won’t remember?”
“I mean…it’s just one night,” he said softly. “In the morning, you can forget it. You can go back to pretending you don’t like me, and I can pretend that I don’t care. But for tonight, let me pretend you’re mine.”

So, you know….just a few of my thoughts *sarcasm*. If you even made it this far, that is. Look. I know I acted a fool. I know this is typical Chelsea doing typical fangirl OTT stuff…but what is life even about if you can’t flail and obsess and fangirl to your friends, people who read your thoughts, or to anyone who wants to listen that day. I know I exude crazy (that’s fine. It’s fInNnNnNnEeEeE) but I stand by it. If I am clinical, if I am not being crazy-watch: I won’t remember or think about that book come next year. Poof. Forget about it. So, like my long-winded reviews. Or don’t. But know one thing-if I am THAT crazy about a book then I am passionate enough about it that I am willing to put myself out there with all my unbridled, uncensored (I did NOT use the F word excitedly as I would have liked to, but…) thoughts and craziness so that someone, somewhere that MAYBE was on the fence about said novel might give it a try. If I can save one soul from missing out on a book that they would love, then I’ll have done my job and I’ll have done it successfully-and I sleep well at night knowing that.

His words were low and quiet; she wouldn’t have heard them if she hadn’t been so close. And it struck her how intimate words could be, how they could be spoken only once, for only one person, and they would never be heard again, they would disappear like a moment, gone almost as soon as you realized they were there.

*****

NOW THE COVER ARGGHHGDEGDFGF

There is literally nothing else I want to read

***

Can I just, like….have this please?

Please and thank you?

Jacks? PLEASE??

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

BOOK REVIEW: Down Comes the Night by Allison SaftDown Comes the Night by Allison Saft
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.



Hal had let her believe, for the first time in her life, that it was alright to feel passionately, fiercely. And oh, she did. She did. If any feeling would kill her, it was this one. She was in love with Hal Cavendish, and he would never know it.



Allison Saft is a new to me author who came seemingly out of nowhere and stole my heart right out of my chest. And here we see such beautiful, vivid imagery, just like her sophomore novel-A Far Wilder Magic. I’ll admit that, while this novel was epic in a way I did not expect, it didn’t quite beat A Far Wilder Magic. I think there’s almost always something to be said about a first novel you read by a certain author-it sets the pace. It enraptures you with said author’s writing style, prose, and depth of those first characters. It’s always wonderful to pick up another novel by your favorite authors, but there is still always something sweeter about meeting a new author and what they bring to the table-but this was so very good as well.

The only natural light filtered in through a round window at the end of the corridor that watched her like a half-shut eye. The snow accumulating on the windowsill would soon consume her view entirely. Wren wondered if this was how it felt to be buried alive, watching as the darkness swallowed a single point of light.



I can see where this was a ‘first book’, the author finding her feet and learning what works for her and what doesn’t. And where A Far Wilder Magic had-in my humble opinion-flawless writing that you immediately became immersed in,

No one moved. No one breathed. Piecing her own experience into anything coherent was like reassembling a broken mirror, every shard a fragmented sensation, an eternity condensed into a moment.



I will say that as this story progressed, I did see where there was some writing that wasn’t as smooth and languid as her sophomore novel was.

Maybe the only difference between a monster and a hero was the color of a soldier’s uniform.



That isn’t to say I wasn’t OBSESSED with every detail-every description-every character (well, Wren and Hal)-every moment…because I was. I was so deeply enthralled with this really sad start of enemies to lovers (okay but I’m weak-bad past actions cannot deter me from falling for the vulnerable new Hal who knows he can’t trust anyone but decides to trust Wren anyway, OKAY) who have to try and trust one another to stop a darker evil from ruining the world as they know it. The chaos about to descend upon them from one small mistake was enough to give me heart palpitations all while gobbling up the epic betrayals and hurt and heartache that comes with working with your most dangerous enemy.

She’d always known what they had couldn’t last. She’d tried to protect herself from the pain of losing him, of wanting him when duty would inevitably call him away from her. Time and time again, she’d measured out the distance between them. And just as many times, she’d run headlong toward him.
Her stupid, reckless heart.



This book was a bit, dare I say, macabre…but this is what made it all the more tantalizing, in my opinion. At one point, I felt a grief so strong, I just didn’t want to believe what I was reading. And, on top of that, every dang moment in that house was enough to give me chills and had me sinking lower into my couch to avoid making eye contact with the bugs [fingers] tapping on my blindness windows. I was shook.

She wasn’t weak for feeling, either. Hardened hearts were breakable. But hers had endured again and again. As much as it terrified her, Wren wanted more than anything to believe herself. But right now, she only needed to convince Hal.



But, alas, I am a wuss and I got through it just fine when they began to see that they needed to work TOGETHER if they wished to defeat their new common enemy and I didn’t have to endure near as many ‘sneaking into forbidden rooms with shadows lining the walls all by my lonesome’ nonsense. I’m sorry, this sends my pulse into a panic and I can’t help but notice my blood pressure goes through the roof. I do NOT like sneaky uppies (I’ve been reading about Seth Cappella way too long, lord help me).

“You understand you’ve made a serious commitment, yes?” She wound her arms around his neck. “I might not let you go.”
“A terrible fate, indeed, to be your prisoner.”



I already spoke of really my only complaint (just lack of perhaps dimension and expansion on certain parts), which leads me to how wonderfully my FAVORITE part was done: Hal and Wren. I’ll admit Wren was a bit hard for my taste, even though its far and away totally jUsTiFiEd, because who wouldn’t be cautious of their mortal enemy. But-seriously-hogwash, because the girl KNEW she wasn’t making the right decisions and she KNEW she felt crappy about it so…I stand to be a little sour towards her because, I’m sorry, in certain moments she did NOT deserve my Hal (again, I realize she is 1) looking out for herself 2) he’s a mortal enemy 3) it’s all she knows. I KNOOOOOWWW, but this is FICTION and I will POUT and stomp all I want).

Her whole life, she’d been accused of feeling too much.
Now she felt nothing at all.



I would be remiss, though, to not mention how wonderfully this romance, the tension, the arc of their untrusting relationship built into something just so….sweet and pure.

His eyes met hers, deep as a moonless night. Confusing warmth blossomed within her chest, unfurling into her fingertips. No one had ever looked at her like this—like she might be dangerous. She liked it. Especially coming from someone like him.



And, near the end, with all that unsavory business….I can’t help but clap because WOWowowowwowowow that. Was. INTENSE. And, during all the intense: heartfelt. Kind. Just…so vulnerable and honestly beautiful. Then, of course, my favorite-a side of absolute deranged peril that was completely and utterly unhinged and YES I wanted to personally claw my eyes out *smiles serenely because I loves it and I devours it *.

She liked the way he listened and the way he looked at her, like she was the first breach of sunlight on the horizon. He made her feel important. Like she mattered. Like she wasn’t entirely broken.



And, also, this book was home to one of my favorite *~bEtRaYaL~* scenes and it lives rent free in my head blink by blink, moment by moment. It plays out so beautifully, with such an-UGH-amazing AMAZING show of character depth and inner heart and I just…UGH. I AM TRASH FOR IT.

She’d known it for a while now. Hal Cavendish, who held her against him like he’d die if she slipped away, was no monster. She wanted to cling to this version of him—hers—and never let him go.



So..I don’t know. I guess that’s it? A whole lot of crazy and not much sense to be had, but I’d be upset with myself if I didn’t act true to myself and, if I’m being honest, one of the things I love most about this author is her ability to create tense situations for our characters that are falling in love (even though they never want to), and not pulling any punches about bad things occurring. I really do feel this isn’t done enough-or well enough-in books and I will always stand behind and book push a story that isn’t afraid to *go there* and make you wonder if our two lovebirds will truly have to deal with something unsavory. The savagery fills my cup, really, and I will lap it up greedily every time it presents itself to me. So. There you go. Take my neurotic self as you will, and I hope at least one thing piqued your interest. If this book simply isn’t for you, try her other story- A Far Wilder Magic. And if THAT isn’t your cuppa tea either, well… I don’t know. I can’t help you. Because I love her and I will ALWAYS love these two books with my whole heart. Also, how dare you.

“Maybe I’m wrong,” he said pensively. “I still have things I would kill for. But perhaps the most important things—what truly drives us—are the things we would die for.”




*~FRAN SCALE~*
Jen-Ahhh I really think you might like this!! But I adore Allison Saft shamelessly.
Cassie- Probably! I don’t predict all time favorite but I have high hopes all my friends would enjoy it! 🙂
Arielle- Hmm. I pretty much text you all the plots and quotes etc so I probably ruined it for you lol. BUT YES. I’d have said you’d enjoy it if not really like it.
Anna- *smirks in ‘you told me so’*




View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Glow (The Plated Prisoner #4) by Raven Kennedy

BOOK REVIEW: Glow (The Plated Prisoner #4) by Raven KennedyGlow (The Plated Prisoner #4)
by Raven Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

"I was nothing but a road to Midas. A means to get to where he wanted to go, and I paved that path in gold."

My life has been made up of gilded lies. But death has been shaped from rot.

Like a phoenix caught fire, I will need to rise from the ashes and learn to wield my own power. Because my wings may have been clipped, but I am not in a cage, and I'm finally free to fly from the frozen kingdoms I've been kept in.

Yet the world doesn't want to let me.

That's the thing when you turn against a king—everyone else turns against you.

Good thing I have a different king in my corner.

But even with the dark threat of Slade Ravinger, the other monarchs are coming for me.

So I will fight for him and he will kill for me, and if we need to become the villains, then so be it.

Because so long as I live in this world, I won't be used again.

Please note: This is an adult fantasy series with dark elements that may be triggering, including past emotional and physical trauma, violence, adult language, and explicit romance. Read at your own discretion.

 

“I know what you went through was horrible, but for what it’s worth, I am glad that you’re here in this world with me,” I say quietly.
His eyes soften. “Oh, Goldfinch. I would’ve found you in whatever world you were in. In whatever life.”

The wait for this book has been one of the most unbearable to date, so imagine my disappointment when I realize the release date isn’t a Tuesday-like most standard releases-but a Saturday, when I am literally the MOST tired, the BUSIEST, and the LEAST likely to get much more than a few percent in reading wise. It seems backwards, doesn’t it? Well, let’s see. It’s summer, for one-Pools, lakes, outside play of the highest form. Secondly, my husband stays up later-Look, I love you, Man, but I have BOOKS to read: Go. The FUCK. To sleep.

 

That’s the thing with trauma to the body—it shows up instantly. In breaks and bruises, in burns and in blood. But the trauma on the inside, that’s harder to see. It creeps around your mind, poisons you with disquiet. It can hit you out of nowhere, debilitating and ruinous. There are no marks visible for those. None, save the shadows in your eyes.

SO, as you can see, I was in a bit of turmoil over this. I’ll admit it stunted my enjoyment, which truly breaks my heart in a way I can never fully express, and I’m too stubborn to just wait until a Monday or Tuesday night as I see all the reviews rolling in from people who literally read it at 12 am when it released and just did. Not. Stop. I applaud you, really I do. But…you fueled my competitive juices, not to mention my insatiable need to devour my favorite series like the drug addict I am and to avoid spoilers at ALL costs. So-I started at midnight along with my fellow ravenous readers, but failed to succeed in the same way (ie tired eyes, irritable mood because I couldn’t fully immerse). Also…how can I function with a two and a half and 5 year old after staying up so late reading every weeknight, you ask? Well…I make it work. My husband and I are made of different stuff, and if I had to give up my miniscule few hours every night to myself and give up reading, I’d lose a piece of myself, my soul, my sanity-and that’s not something I’m willing to do. So, with the DARKEST and PUFFIEST circles under my eyes, I write this review after staying up late reading another book last night, and I go about my day a bit withered, but no worse for wear. It’s called priorities people, look it up.

I let out a shaky laugh, relaxing when they all start to drink and talk and eat, relaxing even more when I join in.
And for a while, that’s all there is. That’s all that matters. I clutch my words and stay balanced on the blade, and for now, it works. For now, I don’t have to reflect or process or talk. I don’t have to face anything real.
For now.

But this is where I have to interject and say that this is the mark of an amazing writer or, rather, to get to a more direct point-it’s the mark of an amazing series that has stolen my heart so completely that even stretching the book out over many many many days over just waiting and binging over the weeknights didn’t change the fact that I loved it and know it’s worth. Am I as fangirly as I would have been had this released at a better or more planned out time for me? No. But the love is deep, it swims in my soul with a warm glowing feel of gold, and I know that I am still just as in love had I binged it-and I know that my re-read will bring all those neurotic feels I so desperately crave and covet and accept with each reading of my all-time favorite series’.

“You said past, present, and future, right?”
He sucks in a breath, but I look him in the eye without faltering. Because the only way to walk a new path is to stop yourself from using the same stumbling stride.
Even if his present is as shocking as a living corpse.
Even if his past might break my heart.
Even if his future isn’t guaranteed.

This book had a lot of soul in it, a lot growth-building of heart and mind and inner strength. Pushing yourself to the brink to release the evil that was pushed on you, that made you grow into a cowering shadow of yourself-to find who you are, what you are capable of, and who you are meant to be. And, while seeing this inner strength erupt from Auren and seeing her do it for herself-just this once, to embrace someone she didn’t think she’d ever find again-was nothing short of astounding and well-worth the wait (absolutely gratifying)….but, I’m sorry, she’d have never found this inner strength without a certaaiiiinnnn someone helping her, encouraging her, and giving her support and strength along the way-giving her that confidence she truly needed-Rip.

He wants to yank out the stopper holding in my anguish while I’m still desperately trying to keep my fingers pressed to the cork.

Have I….have I mentioned Rip before? How much I adore him? Cherish him? Want to wind him around my finger and summon him with a come hither every minute of every hour of every day? How his confidence [cocky without being an ass], his power [I mean…IYKYK], his possessiveness [without being a control freak], his charm [again, IYKYK], his absolute willingness to stand behind the woman he loves without batting an eye, his willingness to be the villain in her story, be the villain for her, not to her….did I mention that? That I abso-fucking-lutely love him and I’m tRaSh for him?? Hmm. Doesn’t ring a bell.

I won’t allow another storm to touch Auren. She has been flooded and wrung out, left to take the barrage without shelter. But so long as I’m here, I will be her shelter.

But let’s talk about that last Rip fact, shall we? We don’t talk about this enough collectively, in my opinion. People shout their praises that they love villains, the villain arc, the idea that sometimes bad guys can get the girl…and let’s be clear-Rip is NOT the villain, no matter what he says (lol), but he does some very twisted, very morally gray things that keep him from being classified a golden boy hero. My favorite thing, really-morally gray while ACTUALLY being morally grayand without a hint of remorse, either. Be still, my beating heart. But, yes, Rip’s morally gray moments stem wholly from doing whatever it takes-and I’m talking whatever it takes-for those he loves. For those he swore to protect. For those he cherishes. For those that are too weak to do so themselves….and for Auren? The love of his life? He’d do whatever it takes…no matter the cost.

I shake my head. “No, you wouldn’t. You’re good. You’re—”
“No, Goldfinch,” he interrupts. “I’m good to you. But I am every bit the villain that I warned you I was.”
His previous words ring in my ears.
I’ll be the villain for you. Not to you.

But is the cost too great, this time? Things really begin to crumble in this story, collapsing around Rip in a torrent so strong he almost begins to lose his cool. Events collide, people turn, and he loses some very important support-or rather, it hangs on a very precarious balance-that makes him question everything. But, another thing I just love about this series, is Rip’s Wrath. They support him always, they’re the friend group I never knew I needed, and I love that they add some much needed levity in an otherwise somewhat darker story than we’re used to-and that’s saying something when a lot of it has centered around sex work and children being kidnapped to do so. Maybe this is just my take and this one effected me differently, but the triggers are not gone nor did they disappear-they just continue in different forms, so be warned.

I also wanted throw in, as a kind of afterthought I guess, that I loved seeing a lot of Rip’s past in the form of flashbacks. As if I needed anything else to make me love him more.

I grit my teeth. Fist my sore hand. Feel a line of blood drip from my eyebrow. I stare at The Breaker, and I hate. One day, I think to myself. One day, I will break you instead. But until then, I will learn control.

All that being said, I really think what I’m trying to encapsulate [in a super circumvent way] is that these books grow, they build, and they continue to only get better. I’m sorry, but this SHOCKS me. I picked these books up by MISTAKE, and now they are kind of a big part of my recent ‘These books are my whole life, my whole world, my very existence and next breath’ movement (I can be a bit dramatic, we know this) and I just…I’m so grateful.

I’ve always been treated like treasure, but with ****, I’m simply treasured.

I’ve stated before that these books have hit some nerves from my past, some personal triggers that will likely always be inescapable-but I’m stronger for them. I’ve also identified that some of these books hit home in a way I don’t care to evaluate too much, but see and recognize all the same. I’m known to over-highlight and obsesses over passages like they’re my savior, my personal bible. But these hit different, especially the first three books as I wasn’t as focused on those moments in this one (IYKYK), and I found myself highlighting passages just for ME in yellow (my review quote color), because they just….hit home. And Raven Kennedy…I see you for that. I didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror like that, but it was something I respected myself for identifying with, and I love that it showed my own personal growth, no matter how grotesque to analyze and observe.

I let myself cry until all my tears dry up. It’s not ragged or turbulent anymore. Instead, it’s quiet. Slow. The kind of tears your expression lets fall without fanfare. There is no choked breathing or scrunched up nose. No pulled lips or furrowed brow. This is the suffering of the silent. A hurt so deep it doesn’t show itself on a face.

SO, all in all, I think what I’m getting at is this-these books are special to me, they hold a very deep place in my heart and in my soul, and they only continue to get better-maybe not for everyone. Maybe not in content…but in strength and heart. And I think that’s something amazing, something to behold. And I cannot wait (or maybe I can. I hate final books almost always…they almost never end a series in a way I like or find believable, but I have tentative hope for Kennedy) to see how two of the newest editions to my rabid ride-or-die-or-perish-in-a-sea-of-feels OTPs fare. I hope they all find their happily ever after….or, ya know, I’ll perish in a sea of not-so-great feels.

“You slept in here with me?”
To say I’m taken aback is putting it mildly. The idea that he would stay with me makes me feel oddly vulnerable.
He cocks his head. “Where else would I be if not with you?”

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