Book Reviews, Products I love!!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Book Review

Overall: ****

I have heard so so so much about Schwab and this series in particular so I have just been itching to give it a try. When this booked popped up on my Scribd suggestions I knew I had to check it out.

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

I am really glad that I kicked this series off with an audiobook due to the amount of world building that occurs, what with the multiple Londons and their different dynamics. I think I might have struggled to get into the book so much if I was trying to read through all of those details versus having them read to me. Once I was in though I was sucked in. I actually ended up finding a gorgeous collectors edition of the book at Barnes and Noble, bought it and finished reading the physical book instead of listening. One thing I will caution to those of you who choose to pursue the audiobook, the narrator was a bit of a challenge. I felt a little bit like I was being read to by Alfred the butler from Batman, and it was hard not to giggle at some of the voice impressions he did. Especially Lilah who happens to be one of the main characters and talks A LOT!

The ideas of the different London’s was very unique, I liked taking the idea of alternate realties and playing it with magic and a “back in time” feel instead of it being sci-fi. Strangely I was satisfied with the way the book ended but also with so many more questions!

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 just because of the slower start… I have a feeling that the series will be 5 stars overall. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel A Conjuring of Shadows! The collectors edition of this book releases in March!! I also have a book box from Enchanted book box that is based on the V.E. Schwab world… I was a replacement for a prior box I purchased that had to be canceled and I was a bit nervous since I had not read any of her work yet but now I am super excited!!!

Official Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

More to come as I complete the series!

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

The Wicked King Special Edition Box from Beacon Book Box

Overall Rating: ****
This was actually the very first box I ever purchased from Beacon months ago when they first went on sale.  I have received two of their monthly boxes since then and was not totally blown away so have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this box, especially for the price (about $55 shipped).

Beacon Book Box Special edition box The Wicked King

This box also came right after the release so was super thrilled, even though I still have not made time to read the book yet… its next on my TBR for this weekend I swear!!!

Beacon Book Box The Wicked King

This box came with:

  • A signed copy of The Wicked King and author letter
  • Special Edition box with Artwork for The Wicked King
  •  Faerie Realm Candle by SpideyScents
  • Princess of the Undersea Shower Steamer from FairytaleBathCo
  • Mortal Family Tote Bag designed by Morgana0Anagrom
  • Fae King Pillowcase designed by SilvverArt ( I stuffed and displayed this beauty right away!)
  • Faerie Fruit Tea from TheSimpleBookishCo
  • Wicked and Cruel enamel pin from MoledroCraftCo. This is hands down my favorite pin to date!
  • Set of 5 Character cards designed by Diana Dworak
  • Faerie lights by Team Beacon- what bookstagrammer can’t use more of these

The one issue I had with this box was the condition of the book. There was some damage to the corners and dust jacket which is not something I have ever encountered with a book from a box purchase (and not something encountered with Beacon previously). Had this been a book I purchased from a retailer I would have taken it back in to exchange.

Beacon Book Box Wicked King Unboxing

I have two more special edition boxes coming that I cannot wait to share with you guys.. and of course the book review! I have heard the ending leaves you needing more!!

Book Reviews

The Dark Artifices- Review of Books 1 and 2

Overall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Recommend if you liked: The Mortal Instruments 

Purchase on Amazon here 

I will preface this review by saying that I read both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices and while I won’t say they were literary wonders I enjoyed both series. They offered great binge worthy heart wrenching paranormal drama (and I am a sucker for it)!

Shadowhunter Books

Knowing how Cassandra Clare loves to tear my heart out I waited until the series was complete with the release of Queen of Air and Darkness to start reading. Like the first series of hers I read I was expecting to be sucked in right away and devour the whole series in a few days… Yes I admit I have a problem….. BUT alas it has taken me WEEKS to get through the first few books and I am not even interested in diving into the third at this point.

Now I have heard a lot people raving about The Dark Artifices and how it is their favorite Shadowhunters novel but I just cannot make it happen for me.

My issues *spoilers*:

  • I think this being the third of her series that I have read I might be a little burnt out on the same concept being repeated – Forbidden love, lack of communication, narrow-minded Shadowhunters. Like that one person we all know that keeps making the same mistakes and wondering why they have so much drama?
  • I personally and not a fan of the Julian being the parent dynamic.
  • 2/3 of the way through the series and I don’t feel like the villain or villians are really built out.
  • I don’t not like the cameos from The Mortal Instruments main crew. I mean if you are going to write a book with Jace in it, I want it to be all him lol. Plus after they hinted about Clary dying I almost didn’t want to keep reading to find out if it really happened.
  • These cameos also ruined Alec and Magnus for me. While I get it was trying to show them in an adult/parent light years down the road I just didn’t care for their new softness.

While curiosity will get the best of me eventually and I will finish Queen of Air and Darkness and hopefully it will be so amazing it changes my mind on the whole series. But as of right now I have no plans to purchase her two new books releasing in 2019 Red Scrolls of Magic or Chain of Gold.

Stay Tuned….

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Six of Crows Book Review

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Book 1 of the Six of Crows Duology

Overall: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: **

Pages: 465

Recommend if you liked: Shadow & Bone Trilogy, Oceans 11

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt

Purchase on Amazon here

I recently finished reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I know I am super late to the game reading this book but I put it off for so long due to all of the hype. I finally dove into the book and I am glad that I did. Now I do have to preface this with it was not a suck you in fast paced read like the Shadow and Bone trilogy was for me, but overall I felt the story was WAY better.

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Without any spoilers: This book to me was almost an Ocean’s 11 goes back in time with magic. It takes some time to build out the various characters but it was really time well spent.  While you don’t have to read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy to read Six of Crows I would have found parts of the world difficult to understand without all the background laid out in the prior books, and there are also spoilers for Shadow and Bone as all of the events happens shortly after the end of the first trilogy.

What I liked:

  • Complex characters
  • Continuing to build on the world I was introduced to in Shadow & Bone- I also feel the characters and world really grew up from the initial trilogy.

What I struggled with:

  • This is not a fast paced binge read in my opinion. I picked the book up and down over time, and was in no rush to get to the second book in the duology when I was done.

Official Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.