Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Book Review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

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Overall: ***

Romance: **

Reading Rate: ***

Pages: 416

Publisher: HMH Books

Recommend if you liked: Fallen Kingdoms

I was very excited to read this story after seeing the synopsis, and this cover is absolutely gorgeous! I love trials and the idea of the prison healer was something unique but overall it fell short for me.

What I liked:

– I enjoyed the characters and the build out of their personalities even through the hardships they experienced.

– There was a lot of mystery about the world and the characters that carried through the story that I enjoyed.

What I struggled with:

– There is an epidemic within the prison that is a large part of the story. I don’t feel that it is very well timed and should be mentioned in the synopsis. I also didn’t feel it added more than filler to the story and would have enjoyed the book much more if it had been removed or reworked.

– While the story was not slow, it started to drag with a lot of repetitive scenes. I think the story could have been much shorter without losing any of the enjoyable and building elements.

– While I tend to enjoy darker books personally there are a lot if trigger warnings in this book especially for a young reader including rape, torture, self harm and the epidemic within the prison.

Without spoilers I felt the way the book ended really ruined a lot of the things that I had come to enjoy within the story. I understand it was done to create a bit of a cliffhanger and more story to have in the sequel, but for me it took the direction of the story in a direction I did not care for and I most likely will not be picking up the next book.

Synopsis:

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
 
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
 
But no one has ever survived.
 
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

Thank you to NetGalley and HMH Books for a copy of The Prison Healer in exchange for my honest review.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Book Review: Hollow Heathens by Nicole Fiorina

Hollow Heathens (The Tales of Weeping Hollow #1) by Nicole Fiorina 

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  • Overall: *****
  • Romance: ****
  • Reading Rate: *****
  • Pages: 571
  • Recommend if you like: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Punk 57, Shadowhunters

Guys you know I do not give out 5 star ratings lightly so was so pleasantly surprised when this book just blew me away. I have been on a huge dark romance kick and basically reading anything recommend by @ashhob1229 on Instagram. After hearing her rave about Hollow Heathens and Fallon and Julian I had to give it a shot.

I was also super excited to get back to some paranormal with my dark romance. The story starts out with Fallon driving to the mysterious town of Weeping Hollow to take care of her ailing Grandfather. Fallon’s Nanny had told her bedtime stories about the town but she wrote them off as pure fantasy and soon discovers there may be more to the stories than she thought as she tries to settle in amongst the strange residents and the Heathens.

What I loved:

  • I love the creepy aesthetic of the whole town and the world building
  • The mystery and the angst are so so good!
  • The characters, I love that Fallon is unusual… I mean she is a mortician! Please don’t get me started on Julian
  • The romance! While the characters are adults there is a lot of innocence about them so it reads more like a YA story with some adult content.

What I struggled with:

  • I did not struggle but I think some folks could struggle with the lack of information you have throughout the book. It is so so worth it so push through!

Guys I could not put this book down! I was terrified about how the story was going to end and just knew I was going to be totally crushed!!! While this book can be read a a standalone Fiorina will be writing more stories in the same world. In the meantime I am going to go read everything else she has written to try and cure my hangover.

Synopsis:

A forbidden, timeless, and haunting love story.

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Fallon who was taken far away from home shortly after she was born.

A home that held more than strange traditions and bizarre superstitions.

Twenty-four years later, she returned to Weeping Hollow, a town she’d only heard about in stories during restless nights under a marble moon, in the middle of the night to take care of her last living relative.

They called the nosy mortician a freakshow–a ghastly thing.

They said I couldn’t go near her.

Still, there was this aching pull to Fallon Grimaldi that I couldn’t escape.

A nostalgic pull as if we’d been here before.

Once upon a time, there lived a mysterious boy named Julian with a curse as old as centuries wrapped around his soul.

He was one of the four Hollow Heathens, the very dark creatures who caused the town’s people to live in fear.

And the Blackwell name was stained with darkness and death.

They called him a monster. Cold and hollow.

They said I shouldn’t go near him.

Still, there was this aching pull to Julian Blackwell that I couldn’t escape.

A nostalgic pull as if we’d been here before.

 

Have you read any books by Nicole Fiorina? If so, what did you think?

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Book Review: The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

The Dark Tide (The Dark Tide #1) by Alicia Jasinska Review

THe Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinksa

  • Overall rating : ***
  • Reading rate: ****
  • Romance: **** Lots of love, but nothing steamy
  • Pages: 336
  • Release date: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Recommended if you liked: The Wicked Deep
  • Purchase on Amazon here

As soon as I saw this cover I knew I had to request! Gorgeous right!!! Between that and the description I could not wait to get my hands on this book.

What I liked:

  • This was a fast-paced dark fantasy read with Beauty and the Beast vibes…. well, with a gorgeous Witch Queen as the “beast”.
  • The story dives right into the action and does not let up until the very end.
  • I enjoyed the concept of the world Jasinska set up, the way magic works and the idea of the island being a sanctuary where witches and humans escaped persecution from the mainlanders.

What I struggled with:

  • The book fell a little short for me due the lack of broader world building and predictability. I felt like I came into an already rolling story line and while some background was filled in as we went, I was still left with a lot of questions.
  • The way the story was set up also allowed you to predict characters actions and the overall outcome of the story but was still overall a good read.

The book is listed as being a series but I felt it worked well as a standalone and was not set up to have an immediate next issue to resolve.

Synopsis:

Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen’s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.

Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.

When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas’s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for a copy of The Dark Tide in exchange for honest opinion.

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
  • Recommend if you liked: Serpent & Dove

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 Reviews, Products I love!!

Ruthless Gods Book Review

Ruthless Gods Emily DuncanRuthless Gods by Emily Duncan, Book 2 of the Something Dark and Holy trilogy

Overall: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Release Date: April 7, 2020

Pages: 432

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Purchase on Amazon here

I recommend if you liked: The Bear and the Nightingale, Shadow & Bone Trilogy, Throne of Glass

*Spoilers for Wicked Saints- click here to check out my spoiler free review of book 1.

This book hurt so good! As soon as I put down Wicked Saints I needed the sequel right away…. And now I need the final book soooo bad!!! Ruthless Gods picks up shortly after Wicked Saints left off with the Nadya dealing with the silence of her Gods, Malachiasz missing after his betrayal, and Serefin trying to deal with his new status as king as well as being God touched.  If you enjoyed Wicked Saints you will love this journey as our main characters and also some new faces try to fix the cracks they made in the world… but will their quest to right their wrongs for each of their countries right the wrongs, or break the world entirely.

In the beginning this book was little more difficult to get through and did a lot more world building and filling in some of the knowledge gaps on the gods from books 1. I honestly feel I need to read the book again to really get everything, and I certainly will when the physical copies release! Several times a character’s section had me saying what on earth was happening and rereading entries several times. But all of that building (and Malachaisz/Nadya teasers) was well worth it in the last quarter of the book, and OMG what and ending and set up for what is sure to be an AMAZING final installment. Duncan did such a great job of stringing me along needing answers and holding out hope for my favorite characters redemption, I love it when an author keeps me guessing! I have no idea how I am going to handle to wait for  book 3 to find out how everything ends!

While book one seemed heavily inspired by the Grishaverse the author really changed things up and left that path for book 2. It almost had Bear and the Nightingale vibes with the mythology and creatures added in.

I am usually great at predicting how books are going to flow and Duncan steps up to say challenge accepted. I may get part of the idea but then she jumps right on over it an rips my heart out… and I love it so much!

Synopsis:

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone…or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of Ruthless Gods in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ****

Wicked Saints was so hyped I was nervous to read it as I thought there was no way it could live up to everything being said about it, but it did! Not to mention the gorgeous covers that were available! I am always a sucker for a pretty book. Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book Review

I loved how dark this whole book was from the characters to the countries. I thought the author did a great job of raising a lot of religious and moral questions without being pushy in either direction. It was more of “In a world where all everyone knows is war are anyone’s hands really clean”? It was serious Shadow and Bone vibes,  Malachiasz and The Darkling may have to battle for my dark little heart…

What I liked:

  • I found myself really enjoying all of the characters, but at the same time not knowing if I should trust any of them (which I also loved)
  • Because of the morally grey and mysterious nature of the characters I think readers could choose different sides or a variety of ships. I think this book would be great for a book club discussion.
  • I think the author did a great job of giving just enough information about the world and characters to allow you to understand the story, but left you wanting more and forming so many more questions.

What I didn’t like:

  • It was not very original. While I did feel that it elevated elements of other series it also made a lot of things predicable. This is why I left it a 4 stars instead of 5. Had this been a series I read before the Grishaverse books or Sarah J Maas I would have rated 5 stars. I am really hoping to see some deviation from the inspired story line into something more original and surprising in future installments.

This is the first book in the Something Dark and Holy series by Duncan so I am so sad I have to wait until next year to read the sequel!! If you are a fan of the Grishaverse or Throne of Glass I would highly recommend giving a read.

Official Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy…

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: April 2, 2019