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!!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January Book Review

The Ten Thousand Doors of January Book ReviewThe Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Overall Rating: ***

Romance: **

Reading Rate: *

Purchase on Amazon here

The story is written like a mix of a family and a scientific documentary surrounding Doors to other worlds. As a young girl January finds a door to another world in a field while traveling with her caretaker Mr. Locke. Over the years January begins to shape up into a “proper young woman” and leave the fantasies behind, until her father goes missing and she discovers a book all about the Doors and the journey of a woman names Ade.

What I liked:

  • I really enjoyed the premise of this book and the ideas presented could really go a long way.
  • The story is based in late 1800s to early 1900s but does work in a fantasy element with the Doors and some unique characters. I think someone who enjoys historical fiction with a little fantasy would enjoy this story.
  • There were a few love story lines in this book, but just be aware its more telling you a past story than getting to watch a romance form.
  • While not related to the story the cover for this book is absolutely gorgeous!!!

What I struggled with:

  • I had a very hard time getting into this book. I picked it up and put it down several times over a month or so and then finally forced myself to push through and finish. Had I not received an ARC for review I would have DNF’d. While I struggled I do think this was mostly due to personal preferences in the amount of action in my reading.
  • The first two thirds of the book were largely building backstory, and then January started to take action in her own life around the final third of the book. .

Synopsis:

In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. 

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Thank you to NetGalley and Red Hook books for the opportunity to read The Ten thousand Doors of January in exchange my honest review.

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Nevernight Book Review

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Book 1 of the Nevernight Chronicle.

Overall: ****

Romance: ****

Reading Rate: ***

Pages: 464

Purchase on Amazon: Here

Holy cow I was not prepared!!!! Nevernight has been allllll over the book community as a much read since I joined last year. Due to that hype I was a bit nervous to read, but after reading Illuminae and loving Kristoff’s work so much I decided to give it a try.

I actually had a hard time getting into the very beginning of the book and picked it up and put it down a few times over the last few months. Once I made it past the first few chapters I was hooked and blew through the rest of the book.

What I liked:

  • As Jay warns this is NOT a YA book and has quite a bit of wonderful violence and smut, that while is a personal preference is certainly not for everyone.
  • While I was able to predict some of the overall plot points you really never know 100% who is “good/bad” or if anyone is ever safe.
  • Mr Kindley!!! If you have read any of Jay or Jay/Amie works you know first hand how lovable and  they can make there characters and Nevernight brought it 100%.

What I struggled with:

  • The story does tend to jump from past to present a bit. This was necessary for the story line and building out the history but it can make it a little challenging to read.
  • The footnotes can be challenging, I started out trying to read them and then just started skipping. Most of them are really interesting information about the world and funny snips from Jay, but I didn’t feel like I missed out on the story line by skipping them.

Synopsis:

Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.

After the ending of Nevernight I dove right into the second book Godsgrave and pre-ordered the final book in the trilogy Darkdawn (that releases in September).

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Lord of the Fading Lands Book Review

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

Overall: ***

Romance: ****

Reading Rate: ****

Pages: 416

Purchase on Amazon: Here

This is a series that has been on my TBR for quite some time. I recently went on a Kindle Unlimited binge of paranormal romance and was having a hard time getting out of it to return to my normal TBR. I decided to go ahead and give this series a try as I know it is very beloved by many. This book gives me a bit of grown up Thrown of Glass vibes… but seeing as this book was published WAY before TOG, it would technically be in the inspired story. A young girl with a mysterious power is declared the truemate of Rain the last Tairen Soul and king of the Fey.

What I liked:

  • You all know I am a OTP kind of girl and this book did not hesitate to get my couple going right from the start.
  • There are a lot of elements going on in the story mages, family drama, courtship drama, the fading Tairen and fay, and not to mention the schemers at court.

What I did not like:

  • The first book was over 400 pages (mass market paperback) but it only covered the span of a few weeks, and the MC didn’t make it very fat into their courtship.
  • I was honestly thinking there was going to be a bit more… romance. Things were heating up in several ways towards the end of the book so possibly more to come further in the series.

This is only the first book of 5 in the Tairen Soul series and I have heard things get better in book 2… which makes a lot of sense due to the amount of world building that needed to occur.

Synopsis:

Once he drove back the darkness. Once he loved with such passion his name was legend.

Once, driven wild with grief over the murder of his beloved, the majestic Fey King Rain Tairen Soul had laid waste to the world before vanishing into the Fading Lands. Now, a thousand years later, a new threat draws him back into the world—and a new love reawakens the heart he thought long-dead.

Ellysetta, a woodcarver’s daughter, calls to Rain in a way no other ever had. Mysterious and magical, her soul beckons him with a compelling, seductive song—and no matter the cost, the wildness in his blood will not be denied. as an ancient, familiar evil regains its strength, causing centuries-old alliances to crumble and threatening doom for Rain and his people . . .he must claim his truemate to embrace the destiny woven for them both in the mists of time.

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Dance of Thieves Book Review

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Overall: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 505

Purchase on Amazon here

These last two months I joined my very first read along. It started with The Remnant Chronicles and end with the Dance of Thieves Duology.

I was actually a little hesitant when starting this series as I was a little meh about the ending of The Remnant Chronicles which this is a spin off of.  I was pleasantly surprised to be immediately sucked into the action with this book. It occurs several years after the end of the original trilogy but since there was already so much back story on the world there was not a lot of building needed.

I also really enjoyed seeing more of the side characters from the first series and learning more about new people and places in the world. I also liked that this story was less “royal” and you got to learn about the Rahtan and smaller regions of the continent.

The story is based on Kazi who is a member of the new and improved Rahtan of Queen Lia from the original trilogy. She ventures to one of the smaller kingdoms to investigate “treaty violations” and hunt for long lost traitors.

  • I felt the main characters were actually quite unlikable, but grew on me over time. As with the first series as well I really enjoyed the side characters and the world/culture building the Pearson does.
  • I would recommend this story over The Remnant Chronicles but I fear you would not understand a large portion of the story line and character arcs without having read the original trilogy first. It is classified as a spin off but is really more a continuation of the story.
  • Because the point of views switch from Jase and Kazi you know so much of each side of the story. Which for me causes frustration in knowing that a lot of the problems and barriers are from each side keeping secrets instead of being honest. I am hoping to see some of this resolved in the second book now that a lot of new character and relationship building has occurred in the first.

AND THAT ENDING! All I have to say is make sure you have Vow of Thieves ready to start reading right after you finish! I devoured the first book in 3 “work” days so that shows you how sucked in I was and I will be diving right into the second book asap.

Also guys let’s not ignore how completely gorgeous this book is! The naked hardback is also gorgeous and has beautiful maps as the end pages.

Synopsis:

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.

A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.

Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard.

A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.

A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.

When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives―and their hearts.

Have you read this duology? If so, tell me what you think below in the comments!

Publisher: Henry Holt

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The Memory Thief Book Review

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Overall rating :***

Reading rate: *****

Romance: ***

Pages: 368

Release date: October 1, 2019

Order on Amazon here

Etta is a former Memory Thief hiding in plain sight as an ungifted to try and protect her mother and escape her past. When she is double crossed by the corrupt ruler Madame she is forced to return to the Shadows she betrayed to try and save her family and possibly so much more…

The author had some great and unique ideas in this story and even threw a few greats twist and shockers at me. I love the idea of the memory trade and how it can be used for good or bad. I really think this book could have been taken from Ok, to good or really good by being broken out into more books or even just a duology. There was so much action packed into this one book that it made scenes and relationships feel rushed. There were several points where the book could have paused nicely (or left a cliff hanger) and went into a second book.

I was also really enjoying the characters and world, as well as the unique settings that were trekked through. Again I just wish more time had been taken to build out the characters and places, it left me with less attachment to the main characters than I would typically have. There was also some great opportunity for side characters that just got a little lost in the hustle.

Overall the story was still worth the read, the story was action packed and never slowed down. I finished the book in about 2 days…and let’s not forget to mention the absolutely gorgeous cover! I would recommend to someone who enjoys YA Fantasy and prefers a quick standalone to a long detailed series.

Synopsis:

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

Thank you to Blink YA books and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Air Awakens Series Book Review

Air Awakens by Elise Kova Book ReviewAir Awakens series by Elise Kova

Overall: ****

Reading rate:*****

Romance:****

Pages: Over 1700 across 5 books

I binged this entire series on eBook in 5 days! and its a 5 book series. I seriously could not get enough of Prince Aldrik and HAD to know what happened next.

I actually skipped over this book on Kindle several times because of the cover art…. do not mean to be cliche but was totally hit by the “Don’t just a book by its cover”.

What I liked:

  • Romance all the way through & Prince Aldrik
  • The books suck you into Vhalla’s world and do not let go. You just keep adventuring from the library, to the Tower of Sorcerers, to a cross continent trek to fight a war and being on the run on the way back!
  • I loved the side characters!! There were so many funny and wonderful additions to the story along the way that really built it out.
  • I enjoyed the differences in the regions that were built out as well as the magic in those regions. The author really built out openings for spin off after spin off.

What I didn’t like:

  • All the “love triangles” that were thrown in throughout the books, I do not like my one true pairing to be questioned lol
  • While I loved Prince Aldrik and the other side characters I never 100% warmed up to Vhalla the female MC. She was a bit all over the place with her feelings and actions.
  • I also feel like there were problems that arose that I saw coming a mile away but the characters were just oblivious too.
  • I felt like the magic system and the crystal still needed a bit more explaining in the end. The author is also writing a spin off series based after Air Awakens that maybe fills in more of those gaps.

If you liked Throne of Glass I feel you will like this series (although no Fae and less smut) the overall story line was still quite similar.

There are 5 books in this series:

  1. Air Awakens
  2. Fire Falling
  3. Earth’s End
  4. Water’s Wrath
  5. Crystal Crowned

Air Awakens Synopsis:

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all–the Crown Prince Aldrik–she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Have you read Air Awakens? Tell me what you think about it below in the comments?

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The Storm Crow Book Review

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Overall Rating: **

Reading Rate: **

Romance: **

Release Date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

I received an ARC of The Storm Crow in a Fairyloot box and was very excited to read it. I was really sad when I had a very hard time getting through this book. It took me several weeks of picking up and putting back down to finish, which is very unusual for me. The book kicks off with the Illucian Empire invading and easily destroying all of Rhodaire’s rookeries and crows.

To start I just felt the situation that the book was based on should never have happened and after it was hard for me to keep going with the story line. In response to the tragedy instead of stepping up to help her country the Princess goes into a depression. I think too many books are based on women that start out weak and broken, and while I understand that they are trying to convey what people really go through the trope has just been overdone for me, and it didn’t add to this book in my opinion.

The book started to pick up towards the middle. Thia’s personality begins to develop when she finds the Storm Crow egg and begins great banter with the Illucian prince. I was getting excited for the how to book would develop and end when they introduced another guy into the mix…and we all know how I feel about Triangles at this point (tear laugh face).

What I liked:

  • What is not to love about magical crows that you can ride!!
  • I like the way the author set up the world and the differences and strained relationships between the nations. I enjoyed learning about the different cultures she built out and was eager to learn more as the story developed.

What I didn’t like:

  • There were some holes in the concept of the magical crows and the fact that only one country had them and needed them to survive.
  • The “major events” that  occurred in the book only occurred because lack of caution and preparation, this was very hard for me to get over.
  • I have a hard time with characters that are constantly down on themselves and continually take strong side characters for granted. This is just my personal preference but it did make the book harder to get through for me.
  • I think the romance story line was on a great track with an enemies to lovers with the Illucian prince but then took a U-Turn with the introduction of the inventor.

I originally I had this book at three stars, but when I came back to it and started thinking about all of the elements I took issue with I had to lower it to two. The way the book ended means there will be more to this series. While I didn’t feel the usual urge of needing to know what happens next I will most likely give the second book a try to see if the series picks up any before deciding to DNF. I cant say I would recommend anyone to run out and buy this book, more of a wait and see what happens with the series first.

Synopsis:

Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them. 

Have you read The Storm Crow? Tell me what you thought in the comments below!

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The Bargainer Series Book Review

The Bargainer Series by Laura Thalassa Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

Romance: *****

Reading Rate: *****

I blew through this entire series in about 3.5-4 days and then immediately started searching for anything else by Laura Thalassa  that I could get my hands on.

To start this is definitely an adult book with quite a bit of smut and language. The main character “Calli” is a Siren, and I love how dark her character is. I feel a lot of stories start with this pure broken female lead and while she certainly had her demons, she was also a bit of one herself. I cant even with the Bargainer… just “sigh”… he is terrible and I love it!

The first book toggles back and forth from Calli’s present day interactions with Des the Bargainer and her teenage interactions with him. I was a little concerned with the age dynamic early on in the books thinking it was about to go down a road I was not comfortable with, but stick with it and I feel things were pretty quickly cleared up.

There are three books and a novella in the series:

  1. Rhapsodic (The Bargainer) (Volume 1) 
  2. A Strange Hymn
  3. Dark Harmony 
  4. Emperor of the Evening Starts (2.5/Novella)

I really wanted to give this series 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much, but it is not a story for everyone and does have the cliche romance element. If you were a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, I think you would really enjoy this series as well.

Rhapsodic Synopsis:

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear. Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects. But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more. For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken. If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

Have you read this series? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

– Megan

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Sorcery of Thorns Book Review

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Overall: *****Sorcery of Thorns Book Review Margaret Rogerson Charlie Bowater

Romance: **

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 456

Published: June 4th 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Buy it on Amazon: Here

I cannot express how excited I was for this book to release. I read Rogerson’s Enchantment of Ravens earlier this year and really enjoyed it! Plus, my goodness the level of cover gorgeousness is just crazy!!!

This book is very different from EOR, so if you were not a fan I would still give Sorcery of Thorns a try. I will say as a fan of both I feel Sorcery of Thorns far surpassed EOR for quality, and I enjoyed the writing style used more in SOT. Even though this book was over 400 pages I blew through it in 2 days, I just could not put it down and had to find out what happened next.

What I liked:

  • Guys the library and “living” books, could there be more of a dream world for a Book worm?
  • Rogerson did a great job of building out a complex world, characters, and storyline for only having one book to do so. Can I pretty please get more books in this universe!?
  • It felt a little like a story line from the show Supernatural and I loved it!!!

What I didn’t like:

  • I never really got attached to Nathaniel the way I normally would for the Male lead in a story, I felt Silas his demon servant overshadowed him.
  • I would have like a little more steam in the love interest. I didn’t take anything away from the book for this however, this book is firmly YA and kept it PG-13, steam is just my personal preference. Also, if you lean more towards the Adult/NA end this may not be for you.

I was really worried this book was going to be a victim of the hype but I really think it delivered. If this is the only book in the universe I would be so so sad… I already have two editions of this book and would rush to buy anything and everything Rogerson put out about this world. While there are demons and fighting and a hint of romance I still feel this is a book I would recommend for a teen to read, but also enough of a story that adults can still enjoy as well.

Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.