Book Boxes, Products I love!!

Unboxing and Review: March Fairyloot

  • Theme: Break the Curse
  • Overall: ****
  • Cost: $42 USD including shipping
  • Quality of Items: ****
  • Value for the Money:****
  • Shipping: **** This box was late due to COVID but I don’t hold that against them. They do ship with Fedex and they are very unreliable and slow even within the US.

Unboxing and Review Fairyloot March

Whats in the box:

  1. Cursebreaker Book Sleeve designed by @eviebookish
  2. Raven Boys Headband illustrated by @taratjah
  3. Wonderland Passport Cover designed by @noverantale
  4. Queen of Nothing Tumbler cup by @noverantale
  5. Caraval Lanyard by @catarinabookdesigns
  6. Genie Notepad by @catarinabookdesigns
  7. Tarot cards of the month inspired by Throne of Glass by @Gabriella.bujdoso
  8. Bone Criers Moon with sprayed shimmer green edges and artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket by @dianadworak

Unboxing and Review Fairyloot March

Book Boxes, Products I love!!

Book Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Claire- Book 3 in The Dark Artifices Series

  • Overall: ***
  • Romance: ***
  • Reading Rate: **
  • Pages: 912
  • Release Date: December 4, 2018
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • I recommend if you liked: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices
  • Purchase on Amazon here

I am not sure if it was this story or if I have just read too much of the same storyline with the Shadowhunters’ novels. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices. I think this story was just too much a repeat of The Mortal Instruments and trying to push relationships in YA books. I had to take a break after reading the first two books in this trilogy and only started this one back up almost a year later because it was available on audiobook through Scribd.

I listened to the audiobook and while James Marten (LOVE SPIKE) was a great narrator there was just so much that was not needed. I would zone out while listening for a few minutes to realize what I had done… and didn’t even miss anything relevant to the story.

What I liked:

  • It was nice to see the world tie together with other books and see where prior loved characters are now.
  • While it was a little out there, I did like that things were shaken up with the alternate dimension.
  • Not to spoil too much but OMG there was a Shadowhunter wedding and I LOVED IT!
  • The ending was left open for another series and I am so hoping to see some of my all time favorite characters come back with less politics in this next series.

What I struggled with:

  • I didn’t like the way some of the older characters like Clary and Magnus were portrayed, it seemed to take them down a notch from the prior series where they were the MCs
  • While I get that CC is trying to make a statement about inclusion in her writing there was a lot that just was not necessary for the story. She also had too many independent storylines running. I feel like she could have had some great short stories or standalone spins offs rather than trying to cram it all into this one trilogy.
  • While I liked the idea of the blight and Thule, the fact that narrow minded Shadowhunter who never learn from their mistakes caused all of their own issues is so frustrating, especially when you are on about book 13 of reading it.
Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Book Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

The Black Witch (Book #1 The Black Witch Chronicles) by Laurie Forest Book Review

  • Overall rating : ****
  • Reading rate: ***
  • Romance: ***
  • Pages: 601
  • Release date: May 2, 2017
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  • Recommended if you liked: Serpent & Dove, Shadow & Bone
  • Purchase on Amazon here

I have had The Black Witch on my TBR for a VERY long time, so when some fellow Bookstgrammers put together a read along I jumped on the chance.

I actually went back and forth between audio and physical book for this read and I think starting with audio really helped with some of the heavy world building in the begging. Once things started to take off later in the book I picked up the physical book to finish off because I wanted to absorb all of the details.

What I liked: This books has all the feels

  • A great mix of politics, people and magic system.
  • Lots of great characters, I found myself caring for (and hating) so many people in just the first book.
  • I 100% know I am in for a serious heartbreak at some point, there are LOTS of great love lines going on in this series. While there are love interests in this book there are no explicit scenes so keeps it YA.

What I struggled with:

  • There is a lot of prejudice and bullying in this book, some of it was a bit hard to get through but it essential to the story and things pick up as it goes
  • There were quite a few scenes that felt a little repetitive and the story could have been a bit shorter and been just as good if not better for me

Overall I HIGHLY recommend this book… and no spoilers but I finished the sequel in a single day and it gets even better!!

Synopsis:

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of rebels…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to fear.

Have you read The Black Witch? If so, what did you think of it? Any similar recommendations?

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!!

Book Review: Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen

Dark Skies (Book #2 Dark Shores) by Danielle Jensen Book Review

  • Dark Skies (Dark Shores, #2)Overall rating: *****
  • Reading rate: *****
  • Romance: **
  • Pages: 464
  • Release date: May 5th 2020
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Recommended if you liked: Dark Shores, Throne of Glass,  The Remnant Chronicles
  • Purchase on Amazon here

Jensen does it again!! I read Dark Shores last year and loved it but was nervous about the sequel due to the change in Main Characters but it 100% delivered.

What I liked:

  • This book was action packed from start to finish. While being very different from the first book it still tied into the world perfectly.
  • We got to learn more about the Gods of the Dark shores and the Corrupted, less Pirates of the Caribbean and more Mythology meets The Walking Dead!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters Lydia and Killian… and oh my goodness the “bad guys”!

What I “struggled” with:

  • While the events of this book run concurrent with the events of Dark Shores I do recommend reading Dark Shores first. It houses more world building and background information that I thing was valuable for me to enjoy Dark Skies as much as I did. Dark Skies also has a few spoilers for Dark Shores towards the end whereas I do not feel Dark Shores spoiled anything in this book.

I actually thought this story was going to be a trilogy since the remaining characters from both first two books are supposed to regroup in the third but it turns out there will be more!!! I seriously cannot wait to see what Jensen does next with all of these moving pieces.

Synopsis:

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

Book Boxes, Products I love!!

Fairyloot Rulebreakers February Unboxing and Review

  • Theme: Rulebreakers
  • Overall: ***
  • Cost: $42 USD including shipping
  • Quality of Items: ***
  • Value for the Money:***
  • Shipping: ** While I enjoy the lower shipping costs for the US, the vendors are terrible and it actually takes me longer to my box now than it did when it shipping internationally. My book was also damaged due to the way it was packed and shipped *Twice this month for book damages from Fedex*
    • Fairlyloot responded right away to my email about the damage but advised it will by 15-20 days for replacement book * After a month I followed up and du eco shipping delays it will be another few weeks.

Normally I am pretty impressed with Fairyloot but this month i just was not feeling the box, or the redo of the cover for the book. I bought this as a one off box and wish I had saved the money, I probably will not keep anything that came in the box.

Whats in the box:

Fairyloot Rulebreakers Unboxing and Review

  1. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller with a purple color swapped cover and artwork on the reverse
  2. Serpent & Dove mug
  3. Foiled scarf inspired by Sorcery of Thorns
  4. Wicked Saints lip balm
  5. Mordor luggage tag
  6. We Hunt the Flame Art print
  7. Nevernight filed bookmark set and sticker
  8. Strange the Dreamer tarot cards

 

Do you have a favorite bookish box? Let me know in the comments below!

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.