Book Reviews, Products I love!!

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

  • Overall: ****/5
  • Romance: ****
  • Reading Rate: ***
  • Pages: 803
  • Recommend if you liked: Other Maas works, Fever Series
  • Release Date: March 3, 2020
  • Publisher:Bloomsbury
  • Purchase on Amazon here

This book was arguably the most anticipated Fantasy release of the year and I myself could not wait to get my hands on one. I was so happy I took advantage of the virtual signing Sarah did to get a signed and personalized book, even if it didn’t arrive until a week after publication date.

If you are a Maas fan this book will be right up your alley, if you are not… even with it making the change to the “adult” space I still don’t think you will be a fan. There was not much more “mature” about this book than anything Maas has written before, the language used was really the only difference I noticed. She also went for more of a slow burn style vs hopping into love like her other works (we will just have to wait and see if this means a guy might make it through the series).

While I ended up enjoying the story and will 100% be picking up the next book in the series as soon as it comes out, I could not give the book 5 stars.

What I liked:

  • True to SJM form we had lots of snarky, smart characters that you cant help but love.
  • A really interesting world (that almost gave me Daughter of Smoke and Bone vibes). The whole story really took place in one large city so I cannot wait to experience more if the world.
  • I really enjoy when an immediate storyline is wrapped up but still open for the future. I was happy with the ending and ready for more without it being a cliff hanger that left me dreading the wait between books.

What I struggled with:

  • While I enjoyed the characters there were a lot that gave me feels of characters she had already written, and basically took and put into a new setting. I think this is also just a casualty of reading an author with a specific style over and over.
  • There was a lot of slow build to this story so it did not have that “suck me in” factor her other works have done. I was able to read the book in small spurts without feeling the draw to know what is going to happen next. That is until the last 200 pages…. be prepared to sit down and finish the book out when you get there.
  • I think every character in every conversation throughout the entire book said “Hel” at least once… just a few chapters I was done hearing the word (and it usually takes A LOT for me to be annoyed with an element like that in writing).

Synopsis: I think its better to go into this book not reading it though*

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Have you read House of Earth and Blood yet? What did you think if it?

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Wicked As You Wish Book Review

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin ChupecoWicked as you wish book review

  • Overall: **
  • Romance: *
  • Reading Rate: ***
  • Pages: 432
  • Release Date: March 3, 2020
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Recommend if you liked: Reverie
  • Purchase on Amazon HERE

My initial thoughts when starting the book were that I came into the middle of an existing story line. It was like Alice in Wonderland and other tales crashed into the world as we know it. We are in the modern era but with a twist on the countries and of course the presence of magic. There are several countries and magics listed and different type of people that can use them, and different groups that tolerate and don’t tolerate.

What I liked:

  • I think the author had a great concept for the world it just was not fully executed in this first book.

What I struggled with

  • The story started off seemingly normal and then dove into a mish mash of action scenes and new characters and events that were not ever clearly explained. I felt like I was reading through someone’s dream where the landscape and characters were shifting without any defining laws.
  • This is the first novel I have read from Rin so perhaps this is just her writing style and I was not aware.
  • I also felt the author had some pretty strong political views that were coming off loud and clear in the story and it was a bit off putting for me.
  • They also tried to include a large amount of diversity into the book, but to the point that in an attempt to be inclusive there were so many characters you had little information about them other than what made them “different” and I personally felt it was counterproductive. I am all for diversity in a story but actually make a character not just try to check a box.
  • While I was not a fan off all the missing information it did make the story fly right along in the beginning. As the book progressed I found it harder to stay interested and would set the book down for days at a time.

While the story did end in a cliffhanger with little wrapped up, I am not in any hurry to find out what happens next and most likely will not pick up the next book. The author has an incredibly interesting world going. I think if the focus were narrowed to the key characters and storylines in future books it could be a good series.

After reading the book ( I always try to go into my ARCs a little blind so no bias) I learned that this was the authors first book she wrote and was extremely passionate about so makes more sense why it is so rough around the edges.

Synopsis:

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for a copy of Wicked As You Wish in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I almost bought An Enchantment of Ravens from Book Outlet a few weeks ago and decided to hold off after reading the synopsis didn’t do anything for me. Then I stumbled upon it on Scribd and decided to go a head and give it a shot… and I am SO glad that I did.

This book was such a neat take on Faerie and really made humans seem superior in so many ways. The narrator did a great job with the characters even though the guys voices are a little hard to take seriously. The writing was very descriptive and I was able to keep a clear picture of the characters and events occurring even while listening instead of reading, which is a bit harder for me. I think it might actually have been a bit challenging for me to read vs listen to in the beginning due to all of the descriptions.

This is a standalone and also a pretty short book so is a good light read if you are in a slump or not wanting to take on a complex series. If anything I wish there had been more to the story or more books to read. The author Margaret Rogerson is actually releasing another book this year called a Sorcery of Thorns in the same universe and I am sooo ready for it now. Just one more thing….. these covers are gorgeous!!!!

Official Synopsis:

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Wicked King by Holly Black Book Review

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)

Overall Rating: ****

I read The Cruel Prince last year and thought it was good but not the most amazing thing I have ever read. The Wicked King was much better in my opinion.The Wicked King Book

It still took me a few chapters to really get drawn in but once I was there I was totally hooked. The Jude and Cardan dynamic just drove me crazy and on top of that you never know who all else is really out to get her versus help her (especially her sister Taryn). I love to hate these characters!

Part of the outcome of the book is a bit predictable due to the release of the title of the third book “Queen of Nothing” but I still did not see the ending coming and I want the next book right now!! (This is why I told you guys I don’t like reading until a series is complete!)

Official Synopsis:

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.

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!!