Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 86)

BOOK REVIEW: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

BOOK REVIEW: Echo North by Joanna Ruth MeyerEcho North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Purchase on: Amazon
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Review:

First ARC of the year complete and just like last year, I started off with a good one! I feel like there have been a lot of re-tellings out/coming out recently. I had only vaguely remembered what the stories of Tam Lin, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and even the myth of Cupid and Physche were about. I myself looked them all up after I saw another reviewer mention them and I would actually recommend not doing so. While this story is obviously unique, there were a few things that I think I was able to piece together sooner because I had just skimmed those tales.

This is a story of Echo, named such for the fact that she echoed her late mother’s heartbeat with her own. When she is young, Echo is disfigured by a strange white wolf in the forest and grows up being reviled by her village. When she is sixteen, she has another encounter with the same wolf and ends up bartering one year of her life for the safety of her father. She ends up spending that year in this awesome house that all of these different rooms that she learns to tend to from the wolf. OBVIOUSLY my favorite one was the library that had the cool mirror books. Basically you could step into them and live out that particular story and leave whenever you wanted. It’s in those “books” that she meets Hal and the story progresses and mistakes are made and ~feelings~ begin, and……………….that’s basically all I’ll say about it. You’ll just have to pick the book up once it comes out and find out yourselves!!!

Anyway. I think I liked the second half of the book more than the first (even though the first had the mirror books). The second half featured Echo actually DOING something to try to save a certain someone. I felt like in part one there were too many instances of her wasting time, trying to figure things out. Maybe it’s just because I’ve read so many books and fairy tales but I was like damn, girl, you need to figure your crap out already! Overall I loved the ending and this was a very solid book to start out 2019. I very much recommend!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Page Street Publishing for allowing me to honestly review a copy of this book early!♥

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

I am so excited to be participating in this blog tour, introducing the first book in Roshani Chokshi's latest series, The Gilded Wolves. I hope you all enjoy this thrilling new heist adventure with a cast of lovable, misfit characters!

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)
by Roshani Chokshi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Review:

Well I feel like I need to keep this short and to the point until it actually comes out! This was a good book. That being said, did I expect more? Kind of.

There were so many wants inside him that he doubted there was room for blood in his body.

At this point I honestly don’t know if I didn’t like it as much because I started reading it a few months ago, put it down and read a ton of books in-between, and then just now finally finished it. I do think that this might suffer from a case of the “people likened it to Six of Crows so my bar was set IMPOSSIBLY HIGH.”  And I get that, it had a cast of misfit and awesomely diverse characters that came together to pull of a heist and that was awesome. BUT. I guess there was also a lot I didn’t get. Maybe it was because unlike Six of Crows, which is set in a completely fictional world, this was set in France in 1889 and I kept forgetting that. There are instances of people being treated a certain way because of their race or class and talks of revolution and things of that nature that had me pausing for a second.  I just honestly have no idea what kind of a place France was during that time period. I do always feel slightly..guilty(?) too, when books are compared to a series that was hyped up so much and so loved by so many. I just want people to go into it knowing that yes, this DOES have some similarities, but it also is its own book with its own unique story and set of characters ready to be fallen in love with!

“Tristan, my love,” said Laila with dangerous calm. “If you get it the way of a woman’s battle, you’ll get in the way of her sword.”

EITHER WAY, this book has solid bones. The characters, like I said, were really diverse and fun and had hilarious banter with one another. A lot of things really intrigued me about them and I hope that we continue to get more back story on all of them, ESPECIALLY Laila..Also, the ending set the next book up in a way that I NEED IT *fans myself*. I need more Severin and Laila (the best kind of tortured romance, folks), I need to know more about last thing that was said about a certain someone being an heir or not..I just need to know a lot of things. So again, this wasn’t GREAT like I thought it was going to be, but it was  really good and I will be 100% checking out book two. Her writing is as amazingly rich and vibrant as it was in her previous books and I still think this will get a lot of buzz and that a ton of people will fall madly in love with the characters, too.

“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel,” Severin said, looking each of them in the eye. “Just don’t forget that enough power and influence makes anyone impossible to look away from. And then they can’t help but see you.”

Huge thanks to  Wendesday Books and NetGalley for allowing me to honestly review this eARC! ♥  The Gilded Wolves will be out January 15th, 2019!

Giveaway:

 Enter to win a physical copy of The Gilded Wolves, that Wendesday Books has graciously offered to give away (USA only).

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Roshani Chokshi:

Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers.  Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was long listed for the British Fantasy Science Award.

Website I Twitter I Instagram

 

BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra ClareQueen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

“When I was at my worst, you were at your best for me. I can only do the same for you.”
“All right,”
 she said. “All right, I’ll wait one day.”
As if it heard her voice, the color closed up at her feet, hiding the parabatai tablet beneath the protecting marble. She wanted to reach out to Julian, to touch his hands, to tell him she was grateful. She wanted to say more, say the words they were forbidden to say, but she didn’t—just looked at him silently and thought them, wondering if anyone had thought these words in the Silent City. If they had thought them like this: with equal hope and despair.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

All right, can I just say that this took me like TWO TOO MANY WEEKS TO FINISH?! That is entirely my bad though and I am so annoyed at myself for it. I feel like I have been disconnected from my previous obsession with all things Cassandra Clare and because of that, I wasn’t fully prepared for this. In the past with her other series, I would have taken the time to reread all of the previous books before the new ones came out. Guys…I literally did NOT have the time to do that/ maybe I did but I was being greedy with wanting to finish the last book and was too impatient to read the previous two first. Also, I was kind of annoyed that all of the Ghosts of the Shadow Market novellas were recently released and I was worrying about missing out on information from those but also too busy to read through those as well. Long story short I have become slightly overwhelmed with how expansive the Shadowhunter world has become.

Reading this book has immediately sucked me back into this world. It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I used to live and breathe in the world of Shadowhunters and I cannot believe I have been absent from it for what seems like forever. When I finished up with Lord of Shadows last year I was left in awe of what Clare had done with Julian’s character and with this particular set of main character’s story lines but I was also straight up annoyed with how we were still getting strung along with the problems of Clary and Jace. I did not care to hear about them because their story, in my eyes, had been over. After reading this book I can obviously see that that isn’t the case. They were an integral part of this last chapter of this series and honestly, I didn’t mind it as much. Now that I know that she plans to end the Shadowhunter Chronicles in the distant future series, The Wicked Powers, I feel a sense of relief. I mean, they were the heroes of the very first series in this world, obviously they are still going to be important. I hope that Clare is able to give all of her characters the sendoff that they deserve in that series because after being with them and their families for the last decade, they have become like family to me.

Enough about that, though. Let’s get into the real reason I came to this review. This G-d book. Um…yeah, wow. I just finished rereading City of Bones and it is literally INSANE how much Clare’s writing has grown in the last decade. I am stunned. The Blackthorns’ grief, and Julian’s cunning and wit, and Emma’s strength and their love for each other and EVERYTHING ELSE. My heart was just this throbbing, beating mess for most of the book that I literally don’t know how I put it down as much as I did. Clare creates these UNFORGETTABLE romantic and even familial ties that I would lay down my life to protect.

I also loved seeing more of both the Seelie and the Unseelie courts. Books on the Fae have really been on the up and up lately so getting to see more of how their courts were set up and learning more about the Queen and King and the heirs was very interesting… During this final installment we met more Shadowhunters from around the world. We got to see things go to shit and then be reborn with the Clave. We got to see a NEW, and possibly equally horrible other dimension…..just…it was a lot. I am so intrigued with what will happen with so many different things and people and I refuse to say more on the matter lest I spoil ANYTHING.

The ONLY complaint that I have with this book (that isn’t really anything to do with the actual book) is that there were aspects of it that I just felt like I possibly should have known more about…? Again, it goes back to me not being able to reread the previous books and not being able to read the last set of novellas though. As much as I CRAVE series that are long and drawn out and that interconnect, sometimes it can be a pain in the ass. I can see how it would be daunting if you were a newcomer to try to figure out which to pick up first and in what order, etc. Each series makes mention to events in other series and other characters and their families in other series so as you can probably guess, if you don’t have it all straight or haven’t read it all, you are going to miss out on a LOT.

That being said, I would recommend this series (& all of her series) to literally anyone who likes fantasy. These books have something for everyone and are diverse in a way that a lot of YA isn’t. I will be reading her books until the day I die, mark my words, lol.

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra ClareCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

“All the stories are true.” 

One of the best parts of re-reading old favorites (especially series) is actually getting around to reviewing them. One of the saddest parts of trying to review them, though, is that all of my initial wonder and excitement is lost. I will always love these books and characters, I know I will. BUT, this time around, this particular book was more of a four instead of the five I initially had it at. It might be because Clare’s writing has grown so exponentially and I know just how more amazing and intricate her books get….I’m not sure. Either way I will try to do my best to do justice to what sixteen-year-old thought about this book. *lol oh God what am I getting myself into*

“It’s so dark,” she said lamely. 
“You want me to hold your hand?”
Clary put both her hands behind her back like a small child. 
“Don’t talk down to me.”
“Well, I could hardly talk up to you. You’re too short.”

Yeah literally right after I typed that I knew there would be no way that was going to be possible bahahah. Sixteen-year-old me probably thought she was hot shit and was an idiot when it came to a lot of things and I literally would never want to read a review that she had written. And anyways, I can guarantee for the most part, the things I liked then were still the same things I liked now. Basically the reason why I started reading this again was that I am about 75% of the way through Queen of Air and Darkness and I felt like I had forgotten so many things and kinda of missed where things were in the beginning. I kept on reading QoAaD, of course, but I would randomly pick up this book throughout that too. Kind of a horrible idea, but here we are.

One of the best parts of this book, this series, this world of Shadowhunters is just that—the world. I have always been a fantasy fan so the thought of there being vampires, faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and a warrior race that has angel blood in their veins that spend their lives protecting the human race against demons (all hidden in plain sight of course!). As much as I would feel offended that such a world is there and that I haven’t been asked to be a part of it, I still think it is cool to think that *more* might exist than what we know.

Another aspect of these books that has always intrigued me is the Shadowhunter’s government structure, The Clave. I think Clare wrote their laws, their beliefs, and their prejudices very deliberately. It is so frustrating to read about their clashes with the Downworlders at times but then if you take a step back and consider how minorities are treated in real life, you have to think, ‘yeah..you think these fictional problems are frustrating and horrible? Try thinking about the ones that real life people face every day…’ It only kind of gets worse too and is at somewhat of a boiling point in the point I’m on in Queen of Air and Darkness. I really hope we can see things get better asap…

“Aren’t you tired?” His voice was low. “I’ve never been more awake.”

Finally, THE most important part of this book, this series—the characters!!! Clare knows how to write some funny/interesting/relatable/annoying/diverse/unforgettable characters, let me tell you. Clary, the main protagonist of this entire series, can be annoying at times but given her age and the amount of bat shit craziness that gets dumped on her all at once, I get it. Onto Jace. Jace for me is the OG snarky bad boy of Young Adult fantasy. Their dialogue is so funny and full of quippy one liners I can barely handle it (it a good way). You either love to love or love to hate her characters and I am all here for it. Also—can we just talk about how awesomely messed up it is that she wrote this story line where two of the main characters fall in love (and most of us immediately root for them), we find out they are “siblings,” and then we still end up rooting for them (or at least I did bahahaha) to be together until View Spoiler ». I remember being so ashamed/ embarrassed trying to explain the plot of these books to my friends back in the day lol, man. Good stuff.

Overall if you’re looking to get into a series that is now 16 books long and counting (counting the e-books as 3 separate books for when they’re in their compiled form) and is crazily woven together with characters that are related and interconnected over the span of over a hundred years then this is the series for you!!!!!!!!!!

“If you insist on disavowing that which is ugly about what you do,” said Magnus, still looking at Alec, “you will never learn from your mistakes.”

…So it turns out that I didn’t actually review this book but my general thoughts on the concept of the whole series, woops. I think it’s still plain to see what my thoughts and feelings are, though and that’s really why I came here to finally add a review!  Onto the rest!

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara HollandEvermore (Everless #2)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

Thank you Edelweiss, Sara Holland and HarperTeen for my ARC! Evermore will be available on December 31, 2018.


When I was a child, Papa told me my dreams could never hurt me – but he lied. Two weeks ago, the girl tore out of my nightmares and stepped into the world.

Evermore was an excellent bookend to its companion, Everless. I remember flying through Everless, but not 100% loving it. I definitely didn’t have the same feeling this time around, as I absolutely loved this book!

Evermore picks up right after the events of Everless. If you thought life was get any easier and less tragic for Jules, think again. This poor girl keeps losing those she loves to Caro’s (the Sorcerer) desire for revenge on Jules (the Alchemist), which has spanned many lifetimes.

However, Jules is not alone. Liam (who is so definitely not evil) is right by her side, as well as two excellent new excellent characters, Elias and Stef.


Elias’s teeth flash again in that smile. “Don’t you know, Jules? Everything worth doing is dangerous.”

Throughout the book, Jules struggles to what it means to be the Alchemist, and rightfully so. For so many years of her, albeit, short life, she has only known her father and friends and her life as Jules Ember. And then to find out she is so much more, that she is the latest reincarnation of the Alchemist and has flashbacks of her past life, is something she deals with almost the whole book. While I did feel some of the flashbacks slowed down the pacing of the book, it did provide context for the past relationship between Jules and Caro.


If the Alchemist stays sunken in me forever, revealing herself in shards of broken memories, never whole – who am I then? Not Jules Ember. Not anyone.

But as much as I loved the friendships and other relationships, I really loved Jules’ growing love towards Liam. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel strongly toward him in Everless. But my mind was completely changed in this book. He was sweet and strong and stubborn and smart and a little rash sometimes. But at the end of the day, he cared for Jules and wanted her to succeed and be her own person. I loved Holland making him a big book nerd and getting very excited about research and history. It was a small touch but went a long way in making him his own character.


In this moment, I’m not the Alchemist. I’m only Jules, alone and frightened and hoping and wanting, and Liam Gerling is reaching out to me, a hand across the dark.

I honestly wish this wasn’t a duology. I know there’s a lot of three and four book series, and not so many duologies, but I wanted more time with Jules and Liam and Ina and Stef and Elias. Holland also set up some interesting world-building that there just wasn’t time to explore. But most importantly, I really grew to enjoy these characters and want to know what they will do next. And also more romance, because, again, I am so here for Liam Gerling.


“Nothing is unstoppable, not really,” I say quietly, slipping the dagger into my belt. “You only need to find something stronger.”

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