Binding of Bindings · Books · Reviews

Binding of Bindings: My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

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Happy Friday my lovely bookworms!

We are back with another weekly Binding of Bindings and showcasing my favorite reads from 2018, in a big black cauldron of Yes, YES, YESSSS!

Servings: 10

Read Time: 80-100 Hours

Book Hangover Time: Eternity

Calories: 0 (Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients: Magic, tears, humor, anxiety, love, adventure and a royal or two

Directions:

  1. Start by opening your spell books to page 394
  2. Grease your cauldron with the heart of a Villain, and preheat to 975 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl add your dry ingredients: 1/4 Cup of Historical Fiction, 1 Cup of Adventure and 1 heaping Tablespoon of sarcasm. Mix together thoroughly.
  4. Add 4 cups of Fantasy and 1 Pound of fresh Young Adults.
  5. Stir in a handful of Science Fiction and a sprinkle of sadness and regret.
  6. Now carefully fold in your 2 cups of mini spells and curses, and maybe even a zombie (optional).
  7. Pour the mixture into your cauldron and stir rapidly until sparks fly and it begins smoking.

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Garnish your dish with mischief and a curse, and VOILA:

My Top 10 Best Books of 2018

 

  1. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

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The obvious place to start is at the most morbid one.

Did I say morbid? I meant soul-crushing.

This book is all the feels and the most brutal of my 10. It’s the story of how a girl lives the rest of her high school years after being raped one night. The reader follows Eden as she struggles to come to terms with what happened, and while she seeks to find a way to relieve her pain.

Clear a day and night for this read. You’ll need it.

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2. Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

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Along the Indigo is intriguing, unique and BEGS to be read. It’s slightly unorthodox in that the main character skims dead bodies and lives in a brothel.

HEAR ME OUT!

It sounds a little weird, but its actually a hidden-gem and something I guarantee you haven’t read before. It’s a about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mars who seeks to leave her small town with her sister. Down by their home there is the covert where townspeople go to commit suicide, and where Mars skims bodies for money to escape. It sounds strange I know, but it will forever be one of my favorite YA books. You can check out my review for Along the Indigo here.

3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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A 2018 FAVORITE of MANY readers, The Wicked Deep is the perfect witchy story. The legend goes that three sisters were drowned by the townspeople of Sparrow in the early 1800’s, and each Swan Season three girls are inhabited by one of the sisters who seek their vengeance by drowning a boy each. A witch-hunt ensues, there is possession and mystery, and eve a little love. It’s a MUST read. You can see my review here for more info.

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4. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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Deception, royals, torture, death, rebellion and crowns made of ash?

Um…YES PLEASE!

Ash Princess is the first in this amazing trilogy, and I know I’m not alone when I say I can barely stand waiting for book 2! It’s about a Princess who’s country was invaded when she was child, her parents were killed in front of her and she was enslaved by her conquerors. Years later, she is used as a trophy for the Kaiser to show his people (and hers) that he won. It is a tale of rebellion, and of brutality. Buckle in for this one! You can also see my review here for more!

5. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t believe it’s over!!

I devoured five of the seven books in this series in 2018, and I have read through them twice more to prepare me for the last two. This series is EVERYTHING a Fantasy addict could hope for in a series. A badass female assassin with a pension for stabbing people, magic, Fae, demons, WITCHES! This series did not disappoint, and all I am left with is a sadness and hole in my chest because it’s over….and I’ll never be the same.

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6. The Lone City series by Amy Ewing

the lone city series

I know I mentioned this series in my last post. It’s only because it is THAT amazing. The Handmaid’s Tale meets the YA world in ball gowns and rebellions. It’s a vicious, vicious world in The Lone City, so bring your battle-gear readers! You guys won’t be able to stop yourselves from annihilating these books. They’re just amazing.

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7. Dead Dog (Zombie Dog series, Book 2) by Doug Goodman

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I was SO lucky to have received this second book in the Zombie Dog series from Doug Goodman! This series is great for the readers who love books set in the wilderness, and who also love science fiction. It’s all about a young woman who formally trained dogs to be Cadaver Dogs (to find dead bodies), but who now works with her lead dog Murder to hunt zombies. But these aren’t those virus-ridden drooling zombies. These are wasps who have attached to the heads of humans, and who are reproducing at a rapid rate.

Scared?

You should be.

See my review here.

8. Quelling (The Purification Era, Book 2) by Angie Grigaliunas

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*Le Sigh*

If there was one book I could describe as making me happy cry EVERY TIME I read it, it would be this book and this series.

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I was SO lucky to have been able to Beta/Alpha read this book, especially because I needed to know what happened. This books follows two sisters, with two very different outlooks on their governments. One appears to be meek and trust her superiors without question, while the other hates them and joins a rebellion to end their control. This book has a feel of The Handmaid’s Tale, but is completely of its own uniqueness.

This is not a recommendation. This is an order. Buy these books.

Click here for my review!

9. The Quantum Ghost (The Quantum Worlds, Book 2) by Jonathan Ballagh

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This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. The main character is a young child, but it is a great read for any age! It is all about traveling into a parallel dimension and fighting evil androids who have taken over humans. It is EXCITING and it is so incredibly enjoyable. See my review here for more information.

 

10. In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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If you have noticed from my reviews and posts, I don’t get around to reading too many Historical Fictions. Thankfully I gave this series a shot, because it is SPECTACULAR. The writing is fantastic, the characters are well-formed, and it twists a little fact with fiction. This series starts at the height of religious reformation in Europe in 1589, and is based on an ACTUAL trial that was held for a man called the Werewolf of Bedburg, who was accused of murder and cannibalism. This series snowballs into something truly fantastic, and I am so excited to read book three in 2019!

 

With that, ladies and gents, I give you my Top 10 Best and Favorite books of 2018!

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Until next time, stay Witchy 😉

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*Warning: Severe weight loss may occur from the devouring of these books due to the raw emotions they may induce. Please do not operate heavy machinery after reading these books. Please do not mix books, as this may become lethal. In case of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

*Don’t actually dial 9-1-1 dispatch*

 

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Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: The Giver, Graphic Novel by Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell (Illustrations)

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The Giver, The graphic Novel will be available for purchase on February 5, 2019.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, via Edelweiss+, for an honest review.

Genre: Teen/YA/Fiction/Graphic Novel/Comic

Plot: Placed on countless reading lists, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is the first book in The Giver Quartet that also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life.

Witness Jonas’s assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.

Opinion:

I can picture it so clearly as if it were yesterday.

I was sitting in class, a wee youngster at the time.

A black book with an old man on the cover was dropped on my rickety desk; assigned reading for the semester. Audible groans and grumblings of “this looks boring” and “dude, come on. Something from this century, PLEASE” were heard throughout the room.

The story of a young boy was given to us with a cover so wise beyond our years, with words so eloquently written, that it almost felt too much for our wandering minds to grasp. A book we appreciated and grew to love, but one that still left a dryness across our eyes.

If ONLY we had been given this beautiful version.

You all know the story of young Jonas and his path to becoming the Receiver of Memory. Living in a place where color does not exist, and the memory of it is not taught. But when he is given his Life Assignment, he is given a job unlike his friends. He is to be the Receiver of Memory, the one who holds all the memories of the world, including those with color. So ensues Jonas’s journey to learning about the world, one filled with happiness and pain, sadness and elation. This version of The Giver pulls in readers of all ages and gives them beautifully illustrated images of Jonas’ story.

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This graphic novel is AMAZING.

I honestly didn’t know how much I needed a graphic novel version of The Giver, until now. These illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and perfectly portray this story. Not only is it a great version for all us who had read this in school or when we were kids, but it is a FANTASTIC way to get the younger audiences and newer generations interested! I feel SO lucky that we were given a movie, and now this! The story is the same, but naturally, not every word from the original was transcribed to this rendition. This form of The Giver is much more direct with its delivery of the story, thanks to the illustrations being able to shorten the originals descriptions of scenery.

Instead of the reader having to imagine Jonas learning about colors and the world, they get to SEE it happening as they read. It’s a movie and a book in one! I think all ages can enjoy this adaptation of the classic novel by Lois Lowry, but I feel that it might end up targeting a younger audience overall. Due to the writing being shortened to accommodate the illustrations, it seems that some of the more dark and somber moments from this book are reduced. The reader can see the emotion from the illustrations, but it definitely doesn’t have that gut-wrenching effect that the original has.

Some things from the original were shortened, like Jonas’s big escape with the baby and some of the moments with the current Receiver of Memory. I also found it interesting that the illustrations only portrayed moments of full color for Jonas when he was receiving a memory, or when he had left. I would have expected him to have full color before then, but really, I suppose it doesn’t matter!

In comparison to the original form of The Giver, I found this graphic novel to be breathtaking and VERY enjoyable. As a long-time lover of this book, I was hit with a rush of nostalgia and happiness while reading. This version is truly a masterpiece and will be a great interpretation for younger audiences. I cannot WAIT to get this in a print version!

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5-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Reviews

Weekly Binding of Bindings: The Winter Books

 

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Good Morrow my lovelies!!!

It is I: your favorite over-dramatic goth with a hidden agenda to bring forth smirking giggles, a feisty and sarcastic mood, and to entice every reader to become horribly addicted to the books I shove into their pretty little faces.

 You may call me Pablo Bibliobar!

The not so famous, but infallible and surely fun to be around, Book Lord.

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She’s quick, she’s funny, you probably wouldn’t call her sunny:

It’s Pablo Biblobar.

From henceforth, I will bring you weekly witty prompts all about books, books, books! It will commence every Friday, so be on the lookout for these bookish rants and escapades! There will be must-reads, there will be don’t-reads. There will be sarcasm, and there will be moments of actual seriousness.

However brief they may be.

May I introduce: JenacideByBibliophile’s Weekly Binding of Bindings!

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WHERE TO BEGIN?!

Well, the obvious place:

winter reads

These are all the books that are great to read in the months of November to January/February. Or whenever the snow leaves your front yard. Some of these books I have read, and some I haven’t. I know, I KNOW!

She’s blogging about books she hasn’t even read?!?!!?

Yes. I’m devilish like that.

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The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking

frostfire series

This series is one of my FAVORITES, so I played favoritism and put it first <3. If you like to stalk me, you will have  noticed that I JUST posted this on my Bookstagram account. Here we have a strong female lead (my favorite) who is attempting to work her way up to become a member of her King’s royal guard. When she is sent on a mission to retrieve a changeling, some serious s**t hits the snow-covered hills and she is thrust into the throngs of a potential war between kingdoms.

There is bloodshed, there is romance, and there are mythical fairy creatures. What’s not to love?

Amber Sky by Claire Warner

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Amber Sky is another favorite of mine, and I am PATIENTLY waiting for book two. This is set in a dystopian/steampunk styled world where Tay, who comes from a family of poor standing, is forced to seek help from a noble named Darius. A bargain is struck between them, and Tay is brought into high society as a spy.

This book is full of sneaky courtiers and extravagant tastes, and of course a sweet rebellion.

Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

Though not a huge favorite of mine, still it’s a thrilling read. In a world where humanity is separated by the color of your blood, silver bloods are all powerful and red bloods are treated as scum. Our red blooded main character Mare eventually finds herself in the service of the Silver King, and betrothed to the Prince of the Silver Court. With as much hatred as this poor lass can muster, she joins the rebellion group called the Scarlet Guard, and plots the take-down of the silver bloods.

To me these books are over-hyped, but I could see the appeal while reading. Though it isn’t compelling me to get the next book.

Frost by E. Latimer

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LOVED this book! There are Fire and Frost Giants, and the ever-so-loved evil Queen. Story of a girl living just like me and you, when one day she is kidnapped by striking young men. It’s a tale of who to trust and who to kill! This story is full of tall women with even taller personalities. I had received this book from Netgalley and pulled an all-nighter to read it.

Still waiting on that copy of book 2..

*cough cough*

The Lone City series by Amy Ewing

the lone city series

THESE BOOKS!

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This series is downright f****d, in the best way ever. Think The Handmaid’s Talebut for the YA world. Girls are brought into The Lone City and sold as surrogates for the rich and powerful. It is cruel, it is beautiful, and it is downright LEGENDARY. I read through them so quickly that I didn’t even pause to write a review. I still haven’t.

Thuglife.

The Dark Beneath The Ice by Amelinda Berube

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I mean…what’s there to say about this one. It looked promising, but it was a mess in my opinion. It’s a dark paranormal book that doesn’t really have an exact point. Marianne has the moments of feeling like she’s drowning, things are flying around the room, and the logical explanation is that something wants her dead. But the something trying to kill her is just…*sigh*.

This is the epitome of an “I can’t even” book.

But I hope you enjoy it ❤

The Giver, Graphic Novel by Lois Lowry, P. Craig Russell (Illustrations)

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EXCITEMENT!

I know what you’re thinking. “Jenaca, is this really a winter read?

*Whisper Voice* Shhhhhh, yes.

We have all read this wonderful classic, if you haven’t…*gasp*GET INVOLVED! Color me shocked and thrilled, they are releasing a graphic novel version of The Giver! I JUST received it for review, my first graphic novel, so be on the lookout for that. I may have already taken a little peak inside and…..

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I haven’t read these. It’s not a crime. I will. I’m trying!

Don’t judge me.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Stealing Snow

I’m waiting for this little number to arrive today in my Bookoutlet shipment, so it’s ALMOST in my pale skeletal fingers.It is a magical tale of insane asylums and whispers of a far off kingdom. It sounds so ROMANTIC doesn’t it?!

But you know how I know it’s a Winter Read? The main character is named Snow.

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Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

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I fear this one is going to be a tear-jerker. If not from the description, then from the countless Goodreads reviews of readers just saying:

TEARS.

A girl survives a car accident that kills her boyfriend, she hides herself out in her father’s studio in the woods, and eventually meets another young man. Where it shall lead, I DON’T KNOW.

I haven’t read it yet.

Frostblood by Elly Blake

frost blood

Frost Blood sounds like one of those rebellion/burn-em-all-to-the-ground types of books. I predict an angry female lead who goes on a killing rampage, but who’s to say? I sure cannot. Countless reviews of it’s pure awesomeness and fantastical delightfulness lead me to assume that I must have it. Though I MAY have had it already if Netgalley hadn’t denied me of the pleasure of reading it…

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The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

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Quite a wide arrange of reviews and opinions on this story, but I still can’t help but want to read it. The description sums up what this book is about perfectly:

A good girl.
A bad boy.
A fairy tale that’s true.
A truth that is no fairy tale.

As a warning, I DID read that there might be some sensitive issues in this book for readers. So be warned. Even I am a little worried about this read, but who cares! I’m up for it. BRING IT ON!

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With that, I leave you my list of Winter reads as of this January of 2019. Go ahead, curl up with a blanket! Get a cup of hot coco or tea and sit in front of a blazing fire, roasting a mortal or two! By the end of the year I may have a whole new list of cozy books for you to read, but only the witches will know!

Happy Reading my witchy readers!

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Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, Book 2) by Holly Black

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Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Opinion:

So there I was.

Curled up on the couch upstairs.

Enjoying my lunch break in silence. Reveling in the comfort and bliss of a book of fantasy and Fae, magical creatures and humans.

Devouring the pages and words with the eyes of a stalker, with the death grip of a blubbering woman not at all keen on letting go of a lover.

With the enthusiasm of a book junkie getting their long-awaited fix.

There I was.

Just…minding my own business.

And then

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Dear Holly Black,

Please accept this as my death letter. For 2019 is ruined, and I cannot go on.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

All of Jude’s scheming has finally paid off, or has it? With Oak safely in the mortal world with Vivi and Cardan successfully bound to Jude, things should be going smoothly. But Cardans constant antics and games have left Jude to be the one ruling faerie from the shadows, with Cardan fighting her every step of the way. But with new power comes something worse, the craving for more and a target on your back. There are whispers of an attempt to overthrow the High King, but when? Jude is told that she has been betrayed by someone she trusts, but who? With her feelings for Cardan in a constant state of confusion, and the fate of an entire world on her shoulders, Jude fights to keep her carefully constructed pieces from scattering in the wind.

I feel nauseous.

You’d think I would catch on to these blind-sides and surprises by now. If not from the mass number of books that I murder, then from reading The Cruel Prince and knowing that Holly Black likes to TORTURE her dear and devoted readers.

My day had STARTED out pleasant.

Now, it’s a swirling pit of misery and disgrace. I am DISGUSTED, yet slightly charmed. Wholly DEVASTATED and…a bit impassioned. My stomach feels like its attempting to crawl up my throat, dragging my heart from the depths of bleak outlooks and deprivation. As if my insides have decided “to hell with it”, and will begin seeping out and dissipating into the cruel air and harsh lighting that is my life as of now. First came the disbelief. The shock and the audible gasps. Then came the incessant repeating of No, NO, NOOOOO! The Anger! THE AGGONNNNYYY!

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Dramatics aside. This book is f*****g amazing. I flew down the stairs in a panic as soon as I finished; I immediately began furiously pounding my feelings away through my fingertips, onto this keyboard, and into this theatrical review. But now that I have finished throwing my feelings up all over these pages (because we ARE at two pages already), what do I say without spoiling everything?!

I say this.

Taryn is still a tripe. Madoc is still a devious strategist. Jude is still cold and cunning. And Cardan is still cruel, while also quite wicked. As I was reading through The Wicked King I wondered if Holly Black could really have any more tricks up her sleeve. I assumed everything that had come after The Cruel Prince would be on a milder scale. Sure, there would still be malicious games, callous moves and bloodthirsty characters. BUT, I thought the worst had passed.

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I am SO gullible.

The backstabbing has reached a new level here, along with the “blood is thicker than water” sayings. It’s almost laughable how righteously f****d these characters are to each other, especially when you stop to imagine yourself in this world. The constant looking over your shoulder and anxiety of being plotted against. The riddles and lies that are spewed in elegance. The stab wounds and death threats that skate alongside the small smiles and kisses. IT’S ALL TOO MUCH!

But as wicked as the king is to be said, Jude is truly the most wicked of them all. There’s just SOMETHING about a girl that can stab a man in the neck that just makes me do a little dance on my tippy toes. Whether it’s her Oscar worthy acting skills or her sarcastic taunts and digs, I can’t help but adore the girl to pieces. There is truly something to be said for a woman that can make her heart as cold as ice. Something of brilliance, I imagine. But next to Jude, we have Cardan. The sweet and infuriatingly dreamy Cardan. *SIGH*…what couldn’t one say of his character?! He is suave, he is arrogant and clever. He is still a jackass. Though I didn’t think much of Cardan before, I sure as hell do now! *Slow and sarcastic clapping* Well done Cardan. Well done.

Though now, I have even less I can say without being the Viscount of Vague! There are conversations in towers, a crown of foul-smelling mushrooms, plotted assassinations, betrayals by the trusted, time spent in the waters, poisonous poisons, duels ‘till the death, ruby rings and moves and counter moves! There is just so little I can say, but I CAN say this: waiting a year for book three is definitely and undoubtedly the bane of my existence.

Until then, I leave you with this.

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · Reviews

Book Review: Evenfall (Shadowfire, Book 1) by Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

Evenfall

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: As if waking up in an unfamiliar world isn’t enough of a surprise, Ember gains a new title to her name. Savior.

Hunted by the Crescent Prince and his lethal shadows, she accepts a young Mage’s help to navigate the land of blood magic and its many illusions. But where Ada sees the good in her power, Ember discovers something else.

An icy darkness, designed to take lives, not save them.

The only thing worse than not being able to rely on her senses—or the reality she had once believed to be true—is knowing that she cannot trust her heart. Especially as it seems to draw her to the one person in whose hands she can never fall…

Opinion:

 “The thing I noticed above all else when unconsciousness released me from its talons of darkness, was that for the first time in my life, I found myself gazing at the night sky.

The second, just as enchanting, yet infinitely more unbelievable, was that the world around me was no longer mine.”

Ember wakes to find the various hues of black, blue and velvet of the night sky staring down at her. Where her world is flushed in light, this new world is flushed in darkness. With no recollection of how she must have traveled between worlds, Ember finds herself exploring a city called Nysa during their celebrated winter solstice. But the warning from a young girl named Ada brings caution to Ember. Their planes have been fractured, broken, and only a child born of the three worlds may have a chance at repairing them. The Crescent Prince seeks the savior, the one, to use in his quest for power and complete control. As a powerful mage, Ada feels that Ember is the one they have been waiting for. As Ada works to hide Ember from the cruel and ruthless prince, they formulate a plan to sneak into his palace to steal one of the three fragments that could keep the worlds from falling apart. But Ember soon finds that nothing is as it seems, especially when it comes to the past.

“But what truly drew my gaze was a fountain of starlight, pure and mesmerizing, a work of art that commanded the space with singular grace.

I was stunned by its simplicity, by the beauty of thousands of minuscule stars, cascading down the three levels before they were drawn up to the top again to repeat the cycle. I wanted to sit down before it, stare at this wonder until the flickering specks were imprinted on the backs of my lids…”

If I was to pick a set of authors to describe a fantastical world to me, it would be these two. Somraque is a world of night, of starlight and dark shades of color. It is a world that I fell in love with instantly, as did the main character, Ember. Walking with Ember as she explores the city and witnesses the various types of illusions and magic, was exhilarating. The writing is exquisite and beautiful, and it crafts a detailed and pulsing world for the reader to easily visualize in their minds eye. But as bewitching as the writing is, the construction of the plot felt over-drawn and dragged-out.

Truth be told..

…I was practically falling asleep during the first half of this book.

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About HALF of Evenfall is story-building and fillers. For nineteen chapters I was slipping in and out of consciousness. There was some speed-reading, some page scanning for dialogue, and the ever-true sign of a book you just CANNOT get into: I put it down about thirty times. I DID enjoy some aspects of the first half, such as the descriptions of the city and the explanation of the fate of the worlds, but I felt like I was drowning in words that were completely unnecessary. I NEVER thought I would say this in a book review, but the first half of this book was WAY TOO WORDY. It felt like I had lived through the stone age before the story started to pick up and pull me in.

But once I hit chapter twenty, something magical happened.

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~*I woke up*~

My advice:

Stay and get to Chapter Twenty.

It will fulfill at least SOME of your dreams.

“A touch so gentle it barely existed, yet it enveloped every inch of me, radiating through my veins and crackling through the very shadows that reached towards the starlight sky beyond the illusion.”

THIS is what I was waiting for! The point when the authors would throw a rope around my ankles and drag me into the midst of turmoil and heartbreak. Chapter twenty is when you will get hooked, when you will swoon, and when you will finally be able to make sense of what is going on. Here we are finally blessed with the prolonged presence of the crescent prince, not just a snippet or two of him. He is dark and mysterious, stone-faced and stiff, but is he…cruel? I just wasn’t seeing it.

“And yet it wasn’t his face or elegant demeanor that stole away my breath. It was the shadows- tendrils of pure silver that seems to unfurl from his body and dance in his wake.

Horrifying. And beautiful.”

For the entire first half of Evenfall characters are telling Ember how horrible and cruel the crescent prince is. That he is a murderer and only craves power. That he wants to enslave her and bend her to his will. But when we finally “meet” him, he just seemed…blah. I was expecting the Beast that trapped the Beauty, the High Lord of the shadows and night, the Cruel Prince with sarcasm and charm. But he wasn’t any of those things. He may have been described in a beautiful way to make anyone swoon, but his character fell flat. For all the time it took to build the first nineteen chapters, I would have expected twice the time to build up his and Ember’s relationship.

But alas, the details and buildup of that relationship was just as quick as my eyes fluttering shut at the beginning of this book.

The relationship between Ember and the crescent prince had barely any beginning before it jumped right into the middle! This man has lived for years upon years in isolation, so how is he so quick to be familiar with Ember being around? A gradual relationship was what was needed for this story. One where the reader could REALLY connect with both characters on a different level. This would have been the opportune time to really sharpen and mold Ember and the crescent prince.

I am left feeling like I know the characters as if another reader had explained them to me, instead of me seeing them for myself. The authors touched the surface of them, but I feel no depth and no kinship to them. I think the only character I TRULY care for in this story, is the dog. And what a precious dog she is! Though I don’t feel a strong and heart-wrenching passion for these people, my interest is still peeked for what happens and the possibilities of what COULD happen. This story ends with a cliff-hanger that DOES leave me wanting more, if only to know what happens to the cruel-but-not-so-cruel prince.

Though my review comes off more negative than positive, I find that I am much more appreciative of this story than I sound. It was creative and beautifully crafted, I just wish there was an even and consistent flow throughout the read. I wanted to be engaged and hooked the entire time while reading, not just for the last half. I am hoping the characters will have a stronger presence in the next story, which I plan on reading. It was a beautifully woven tale of magic and adventure, so hopefully it is in book two where I will really fall in love.

3-5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review:Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark

Immortal Girls

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by JKS Communications on behalf of the author, for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA/Teen

Plot: The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of Satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

“Immortal Girls” follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

Opinion:

It is I, on this Sunday, that blesses you with this:

A book with the potential to reach the stars

if only it had gone through a few Beta/Alpha readers first.

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This book has tremendous potential to be amazing, but it just doesn’t feel finished. There are a few positives, a few negatives, and some gray areas in-between. There were times when I really enjoyed the authors writing, and times when I had no idea what he was trying to convey to the reader. If I look at the work as a whole, I find it to be a cute story and something I really didn’t mind reading. But it could have been SO much better.

Let’s start with the length of the book. Yes, it is short. But let’s categorize it into the “Short Story” genre then. In that regard, it is the perfect size. The writing is quick and to the point, and doesn’t waste time with too many words and unnecessary “fluff”. But if the intention is for this to be a novel, then okay, it’s short. However, in my opinion, I think the story is fine at this length. I saw a few complaints from readers expressing that it was too short for a fantasy story which caused there to be a lack of story and character building. But every book is different. This just happens to be a shorter fantasy book that doesn’t include an exuberant amount of description and detail, but I think it works.

The plot for this book is what immediately interested me, and what compelled me to accept it for review. I loved the creative idea of moving through historical events and characters, and bringing a fictional side into it. The author successfully weaved a tale of inventive possibilities and outcomes that COULD have happened in history, and it was enjoyable to see them play out. I liked the interaction with Joan of Arc and how the author portrayed her as a typical teenage girl who was seeking friendship, the idea that Anne Frank met a girl in her concentration camp and wished her to share her diary with the world, and that a few eighteen-year-old girls were the true demise of Jack the Ripper. This is all VERY creative. But some of it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

The change of scenes was only separated by paragraphs, which made it EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with what was happening. There was a moment when one immortal girl was introduced and described to the reader, but in the next paragraph the reader is thrown into a scene from her past. Where was the notice that this was happening?! It could have been completed with just three small characters. Look, it’s so simple:

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The author paints the parents, Isabelle and Alistair, to be these divine and heavenly beings who are tasked with showing the girls the “right” path in life that could save the world. I mean I think that was his goal? It’s not very clear. But who are these two characters? Where did they come from? They could be tricksters from Satan for all I know about them! But what is even more confusing is that these girls are actually “trained” to be savage killers. And when I say “trained” I mean they become immortal, and then instinctively know to reach through a guy’s chest and rip his heart out.

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I DID like the introductions for each Immortal girl though, and how each one was a little different. I REALLY liked the introduction of Caitlin when the author described her. THIS is how they entirety of the story should have been described. It was detailed and gave me a PERFECT image of what she looked like and who she was, but wasn’t overly wordy. It was just right. But then by the end of Caitlin’s story I was confused again because I didn’t understand if she was already immortal at that point, or if she was then going to become immortal?

Also, I think those cheesy one-liners when the girls are killing don’t even need to be touched on.

Honestly.

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By the end of the of the book I was a bit annoyed, but I had learned to accept it for what it is. I think it would be a great idea for this author to use Beta and Alpha readers for his next book, because it would only benefit him to have the opinions of readers that are going to give him honest helpful criticism. I think this story was cute and creative, but it just didn’t execute in the way I had hoped it would.

2-5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, Book 1) by Holly Black

the cruel prince

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Opinion:

This tale may have faeries that harness such beauty that your throat will constrict on sight, a court of royalty both fierce and alluring, and a human girl thrust upon its center.

But this isn’t your typical Fae tale, and it isn’t for the fainthearted.

There are tricksters and murderers, kin slayers and cruel rulers.

There are romances with slit eyes and truths entwined in riddles.

There are faeries as flinty as a fox, ones who love tyrannical tricks and depraved deadly deeds.

But sometimes the most cold-blooded becomes the compassionate, and the most sympathetic becomes the sadistic.

Buckle up boys and girls. Your sweet faeries are dripping in poison.

At the age of seven Jude and her sisters were swept away to a land called faerie by the murderer of their parents, the general of the High King at the High Court of Faerie. After being forced to adapt to her new surroundings and way of life, Jude grows to love faerie even though humans are looked down upon. Ten years later, Jude can finally call the land of Faerie home with the goals of becoming a Knight to the High King. But Jude’s life in Faerie is far from easy. She is ridiculed and tortured by the Fae, especially by the youngest Prince of the High Court and his minions. Usually choosing to be meek and keep her head down, Jude decides to show a different hand. As she fights to win a place at court, she realizes that the politics and deceptions in the inner circle might just be more than she bargained for.

Call me naïve, and maybe even innocent as a stretch, but here I thought I was going to be reading a nice Fae tale with a grumpy prince, a whirlwind romance and the potential of a swift rebellion.

Dear oh me. Was I f*****g wrong.

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Where do I even start?! This book just went to the TOP of my favorites list, and THANKFULLY book two, The Wicked King, is coming out in four days or I might just have to fall over in some sort of dramatic goth-like fashion!

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The tale goes as such: long, long ago, in the far away land called Faerie that isn’t’ all that far away, Jude’s human mother marries a Fae general named Madoc and they sire a half-Fae daughter. Soon the human wife falls in love with a human swordsmith in Faerie, and they both escape to the mortal lands with the half-Fae daughter. Some odd years later AFTER the mortals sire their twin human daughters, said Fae General named Madoc finds the mortal couple and attempts to convince his wife and daughter to return to Faerie. After refusals and threats, the impatient Fae general murders the mortal couple in front of their children. But EVER the gentlemen that this Fae male is, he takes his half-Fae daughter AND her human sisters back to Faerie whilst bringing honor to the wife that he just killed.

Isn’t that just dreamy?

I knew you’d love it.

Let’s start with our lovable, though debatable, female lead: Jude. Jude is the epitome of an underdog. Nobody in Faerie expects much from her and Taryn due to their humanly status, and as such they are ridiculed and taunted mercilessly by Prince Cardan and his loathsome entourage. At first Jude strikes the reader as a meek and dutiful girl, trying to stay in line and invisible to the Fae. But quiet quickly a drastic change in her is thrust upon the reader, and we are given this formidable and fierce female. Plainly put, Jude becomes a Grade-A BADASS with a pension for s**t disturbing. I don’t know about you guys, but I want this girl on my team. Ruthless.

But what is the cause of this sudden change in demeanor for our female lead? Why, it’s the cruel prince himself, Cardan! Naturally it was easy to assume that the romance of this story would be between Cardan and Jude. That Cardan would be a sulky little prince at first meeting and then transform into a valiant and respectable man fit for a fairytale! Well…not so much.

Ladies, Cardan is a hulking jackass.

He is vicious, constantly in a state of inebriation, and does everything in his power to torment Jude. But this isn’t just a case of name-calling and shoving. He tears off other Faeries wings and tries relentlessly to persuade Jude to kill herself. BRUTAL. Truthfully though, I find Cardan to be sinfully delicious and intriguing. The author goes out of her way to confuse the reader about this character, and I am left with a vague and mysterious idea of him that makes me crave more.

The sisters of Jude are also interesting characters that bring an ENTIRELY different level of innocence and cruelty to this book. Taryn embodies the roll of a submissive female. She seems willing to do just about ANYTHING to stay out the path of ruthlessness provided by Cardan and his friends. The girl has a floppy spine, the heart of a rock and I would be GLAD to be rid of her. But Vivi is a completely different case. She is Fae but loathes living in Faerie, and wants nothing more than to return to the mortal world. She is a fiery and outspoken woman, especially when it comes to her EXTREME distaste for Madoc. I wish she had a bigger role in this story, but in the end, I suppose it make no difference.

The Cruel Prince has proved to be an extremely imaginative and completely different story than what I was expecting. These faeries are brutish and downright wild when it comes to getting what they want. I feel completely constricted in what I can say, but look out for those blindsides, because you will NOT see them coming! This book is packed with vague answers, manipulation, mind games, murder and brutality. However, I am slightly disappointed that there wasn’t more descriptions and world building for the land of Faerie. I felt that the author had a HUGE chance to make this world a whimsical and dauntingly beautiful place, but instead it comes across as “okay” due to the lack of description. I also would have preferred a little more insight into Jude’s physical training and to see her grow in that way as well. This was all mentioned, but moved over rather quickly.

With that said, I honestly can’t say anything more or I will give everything away to those of you who haven’t had the chance at reading this FANTASTIC book. I am counting down the days for The Wicked King to be released! Hopefully it will be just as addicting as the first.

4-stars

 

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