Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood Book Review

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A.K. Larkwood

  • Overall: *****
  • Romance:***
  • Reading Rate: ****
  • Pages: 464
  • Release Date: February 11, 2020
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Recommend if you liked: An Ember in the Ashes, Nevernight
  • Purchase on Amazon here

GUYS! This book was so so good, I have not had a 5-star book in a very long time. I requested this book from NetGalley based on the synopsis but had not heard any hype about it at all. At first I was totally intimidated by the large character list and pronunciation guide in the front of the book, but a few minutes later I was totally sucked in. Don’t let it intimidate you, its not that complicated and you don’t need to know it all at once. I do wish there was character art available so I could put some of the visions of the characters description in my head since they are all different human like creatures.

The main POV is Csorwe but you on occasion pop into the perspective of other character. Normally I find this distracting in a book but it is very well done, and really felt it added to the overall world and story build.

What I liked:

  • The world is just amazing! It’s almost a mix of fantasy and sci-fi, historical and future. Its not based in earth or with humans so the sky is really the limit with what the author can continue to do.
  • There was so much action packed in this one book! I felt like I read three books or 1000 pages and it was less than 500… I even checked several times!
  • Tons of great snarky humor! While the book deals with a lot of serious topics there always seems to be a funny side to things that keeps it from being a saddening.
  • I also loved that the book left open lines for future books without leaving me with a cliffhanger. I was super satisfied at the end and looking forward to more in the future.

What I struggled with:

  • I really can’t say that I “struggled” but if I could add one more thing to the book it would be for a little more romance/steam. I don’t think the book was lacking at all for not having it, just something that is a personal preference.

Even without steam I would not consider a YA book and put it more on the NA side, there is still a good bit of adult content and death (I have seen it listed as YA or Adult on different sites).

Synopsis:

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for a copy of The Unspoken Name in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read The Unspoken Name? Did you love it as much as I did?

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

MLC Candle Crate- January Unboxing and Review

MLC January Crate Unboxing

Theme: Ancient Myths

Overall: *****

Price: about $45 shipped in the U.S.

Value for the money: *****

Quality of Items: **** I only do not give 5 stars because I do not use the self care items from boxes (sensitive skin and whatnot) so I cannot vouch for how they work… but they are well packaged and gorgeous to look at.

Shipping: Ships around the 20th of each month has so far been right about on time.

I received my first box from MLC in August of 2019 and I was totally smitten with it so I signed up for a monthly subscription, I do find that I tend to skip the theme every other month and that really makes them all the sweeter to receive. I have to say time after time they impress me make me feel like my money was well spent. Even if I only received the large candles I would probably still be totally happy with them!

Whats in the box:

  • Bright Burning Kisses body wash
  • Ichor and Nectar Charcoal Face Mask inspired by Circe
  • Persephone Wood Wick Candle- I love that you have a little mystery in the candle you receive, and I always seem to get the one that I really wanted!
  • Monthly Sorting Candle- Camp Half Blood- Demigod ( I will be burning mine later today to find out who my God parent is)
  • Motel American Key Change inspired by American Gods
  • Last but not least the drop dead gorgeous book of the month with gold sprayed pages- Beyond the Shadowed Earth by Joanna Ruth Meyer
  • PS There is always a fun little extra in each of the boxes, I wont spoil the surprise but I love it every month and it shows just how much caring and thought is put into each other these boxes.

MLC CO January Unboxing Demi God Sorting Candle

The one negative I will say about the boxes is that most of the time the books are not special editions or are signed or have book plates. I really really love the sprayed edges but also really love to have signed books.

MLC CO January Unboxing

 

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury Book Review

Blinding Night (Blinding Night #1) by Chantal Gadoury Book ReviewBlinding Night (Blinding Night #1) by Chantal Gadoury

Overall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 330 for the paperback, however I read on Kindle

Release Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: The Parliament House Press

Purchase on Amazon here

Recommend if you liked: ACOTAR, Shade of Vampire

This is a really cute Hades and Persephone retelling and the first book in a duology. The main character is a 20 year old art student from Rhode Island whose entire life changes when Hades swoops in the retrieve her from the hospital after her parents are killed in a car accident while traveling to Greece.

While this story does have a lot of ACOTAR similarities it is heavily tied to the romance story line between Persephone and Hades with the events of the broader world being more a sub plot. But she is an artist, rough relations with her family, the inner circle, etc.

What I liked:

  • This was a cute fast paced read, I love a good quick romance story.
  • The romance line was carried throughout with a little steam here and there, nothing that would not fall within what you commonly see in other YA books today.
  • I enjoyed the mythology aspect and the takes on traditional stories of the Gods.

What I struggled with:

  • While the MC is 20 years old but she acted much younger in my opinion. She was very resentful towards her parents and thought their affections were “icky” basically. She did seem sheltered and spoiled with an overprotective mom so this may be really where they were trying to get at but I had a hard time with it. I think she also took the death of her parents and change in her world a bit too well, but maybe just not time in the story to capture that recovery timeline.
  • The story never made it clear why Persephone had no choice of her own in staying with Hades vs returning to her mother. We also never received any insight into the mother’s side of the story. Hoping this gets cleared up in the second book in the duology.
  • There were also a handful or spelling/grammar errors as well as a few small contradictions in the story, nothing to the larger plot line.

Synopsis:

What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends?

Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.

Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.

Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

Thank you to Chantal Gadoury and the Parliament House Press for a copy of Blinding Night in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

 

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

LitJoy Crate Magical Edition 7.1 Unboxing and Review

Overall: *****

Price: $100 with shipping included in the U.S.

Quality of Products: ****

Value for the Money: *****

Shipping time: ***** When the box went on sale the team gave an estimated shipping time of mid December and provided updates along the way. The boxes shipped when expected and arrived promptly and in great condition.

This was my first of Litjoy’s magical editions to pick up. I entertained the idea of prior editions but always ended up happy that I did not pay the money when I saw the unboxings.

For this edition they teased that they would have a Hedwig item and a sleeve from Book Beau (which alone is valued around $20) so I decided to go ahead and give it a chance. Well, actually my husband paid for it to be a Christmas gift but I am so so so happy that I got this box.

It was packed to the brim with amazing and high quality goodies. While there were a few art things that I resold I kept almost every usable item in the box.

What was in the box:

  1. Amazing Dumbledore’s Will Spoiler Card
  2. Cuddly Atlas of the English Wizarding World Lap size Blanket
  3. Gorgeous silky pillowcase from Sweet Sequels
  4. Replica of Hermione’s Bag
  5. Fluffy Hedwig Ornament
  6. World’s Worst Camping Trip Mug
  7. Dirigible Plum crew socks
  8. Moving Snitch enamel pin from Dust and Pages
  9. Godrics Hollow inspired puzzle designed by Web and Moss
  10. Deluminator Candle by Say Anything Studio
  11. Wedding invite for Fleur and Bill
  12. Sword of Gryffindor Floating Pen
  13. Magnetic Bookmarks
  14. Character art playing cards
  15. Tales of Beadle the Bard book sleeve from Book Beau
  16. Notebook inspired by The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by Holly Dunn Design

**HOLY COW THAT WAS SO MANY ITEMS I HAD TO USE NUMBERS HAHA

The 7.2 boxes are set to go on sale in May and I am 100% snagging one!!! Sign up for the Magical VIP list to get access to the early sale for these boxes if you plan to purchase one.

Litjoy Harry Potter Magical Edition Crate unboxing review

 

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Sisters Grimm Book Review

The Sisters Grimm by Manna van Praag Book ReviewThe Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

Overall: ***

Romance:**

Reading Rate: *

Pages: 448

Publication date:March 31, 2020

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Purchase on Amazon HERE

I was sooo thrilled when I was approved for an advanced copy of this book and just knew it was going to be a 5 start read for me.

This is a dark and heartbreaking story mixing the struggles of mortal life with a fantasy twist that makes you question the lines of good and evil. The author did a great job of getting you intimately acquainted with all the main characters and the nature of Everwhere. I do wish there was more background on the world and reasoning behind the setup of the Sisters and Soldiers. The lack of information really made it challenging to root for a side as you really did not understand the consequences of their choices.

I struggled with the format of the book, it bounces between multiple timelines and points of view, some of the entries were only a paragraph long before hopping to the next POV so it was very distracting and hard to stay immersed. Normally if I am sucked into a book it only takes me days to read while this book took me several weeks and I really had to push through to finish.  I also struggled with the level of sadness in the book, it seemed that each girl only encountered more loss and there was not a lot of positive outlook, even in the end. The synopsis leads you to think this story is much “fluffier” than it truly is.

Synopsis

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for a copy of Sisters Grimm in exchange for my honest review.

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

Alchemy & Ink Darkness Rises Box Review

Theme: Darkness Rises- Kylo Ren appreciation

Overall: ****

Quality of Items: *****

Shipping Timeliness: *****

Cost: about $92 shipped in the U.S.

Value for the money: ****

What was in the box:

  • Thirst Order metal cup
  • Kylo Prayer Candle
  • Kylo Trash backpack
  • “Space Darcy” roll on perfume
  • Kylo themed Beanie with Pom
  • Reylo Pin Set
  • HUGE Kylo print
  • Double sided art/quote print
  • There was also supposed to be a spoiler card with a playlist but I did not receive in my package.

While I still feel this box was a great value for the money I felt it was more for a younger crowd and therefore only kept an item or two out of the entire box. There were a ton of items in this box and they were all very high quality. I really wish the backpack had been a purse or messenger bag and left off the “trash” portion. I debated on just getting a patch to cover the wording but in the end a backpack just was not for me. Overall Alchemy & Ink did a great job on value and quality and would not hesitate to go through the mad rush again to purchase another one of her boxes.

Have you seen the final star wars movie? If so, what did you think? Tell me below in the comments?

 

 

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

COVER REVEAL — The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs

**🖤Cover Reveal🖤**

I am so thrilled to continue to be a part of the reveal of this STUNNING cover for author Victoria McComb’s upcoming novel, The Storyteller’s Daughter!!!

The Storyteller’s Daughter is set to release in 2020 by The Parliament House Press. Don’t forget to add to your Goodreads TBR!!!

The Storyteller's Daughter by Victoria McCombs

Synopsis:

“His shadowed face lit by flames,

Rumpelstiltskin is my name…

For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.

Then Cosette is born, Giftless.

An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.

Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.

THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling that will satisfy fans of Gail Carson Levine’s ELLA ENCHANTED, as well as Jessica Day George’s DRAGON SLIPPERS and PRINCESS OF GLASS, and Cameron Dokey’s THE WORLD ABOVE. ” 

 

Parliament Press:

Instagram: @theparliamentpress

Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: @theparliamenthouse

 

Victoria McCombs:

Instagram: @victoria_mccombs

Facebook: victoriadmccombs