The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

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— 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.

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— MY REVIEW —

The Sisters Grimm centers around four girls: Goldie, Bea, Liyana and Scarlet. They all have the ability to travel to Everwhere, and each have distinct powers that coincides with elements— e.g. earth, air, fire and  water. But over time they forget ever having possession of these gifts and by the time they’re all thirteen, not only have they lost their abilities, they can no longer remember how to travel to the magical world either.

Whilst all the girls are now seemingly living mundane lives, there are boys who have been trained as soldiers all their lives. And they’re coming out of the woodwork with the aim of hunting down and killing these girls by their 18th birthdays.. unless the girls accept evil fates.

Each girl in this book has their own quirks, traits and attitudes. But right off the bat, Goldie was the character I was instantly drawn to since the first page she was introduced in. And the further her story developed the more I realised the reason why I was drawn to her was because we are similar in a lot ways— (in personality, mannerisms, and at times the life situations).

These girls all have haunting stories. Some I found disturbing to a point. They were put in situations that they were forced into, or didn’t have the means to get out of it themselves. It’s saddening, and there were moments whilst I was reading their stories unravel that I was surprisingly taken aback by what I was actually reading.

There are multiple POVs in this book. Whilst I usually love that type of format— I have to admit there was just too many in this one that I found it a little overwhelming at times. I initially had to jot down each characters name and a short description of them on a post-it just so I could keep track of whose POV I was reading at the time.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it took a little while for me to sink into this fantasy. Whilst the world-building is exceptionally imaginative, detailed, and unique— I couldn’t get a grasp of it like I wanted to from the get-go because the beginning read as if it was already in the middle of the story. If that make sense. I was like Alice down the rabbit hole. The story also goes back and forth from past to present.

Alice_RabbitHoleIt’s almost as if I’m expected to have already known about Everwhere, and the key these young ladies play in it. It isn’t until you start getting further and further along into each of their lives does it start revealing what that world entails. There’s no doubt about it.. it’s complex.

One of the things I enjoyed and looked forward to throughout the book was Leo’s (one of the soldiers) POV because it was a refreshing break from the girls, and in my opinion a much needed contrast.

You just have to get past the initial hiccup at the beginning because the second half really gets action-packed once all is revealed and the girls come together. *Avengers Assemble!* 😛 But seriously.. It becomes fast-paced, effortless— and truly a fascinating read.   

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This story really highlights girl power, one’s fighting spirit, and sisterhood, wrapped up in a somewhat dark YA fantasy storyline.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/ 5

Thank you to Menna van Praag, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, and Papercharm Book Marketing for the ARC in exchange for my honest review! 🙂

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TheSistersGrimm_Cover2If you like reading all things inspired by fairy tales and retellings, give this one a crack!

The Sisters Grimm releasing February 6, 2020

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Hope this was another helpful and interesting review for you. As always, catch you in my next one. Happy reading, guys! Xo

 

The Hunted by Bethany-Kris

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

Let the hunt begin …

After witnessing the murder of his mother by a mermaid, Prince Eryx Bloodhurst of Atlas makes a deal to sedate his need for vengeance: they’ll catch the mermaid who did the deed, but he’ll pay for it with his crown.

Arelle, third princess of the Blu Sea, has never known the true cruelty of the forbidden lands firsthand, but she will soon. The halfling prince with murder in his eyes and the sea’s songs in his blood will make sure of that.

He should kill her.
Perhaps, keeping her might be worse.

Two kingdoms are falling. One king is losing it all and another threatens to ruin everything. The rules of the land and sea are changing. Secrets of the past are spilling.

And all because of a prince and his little mermaid—whether they live or die—nothing in the realm will ever be the same.

In The Hunted, Bethany-Kris opens a new world—the 9INE REALMS—for readers with a dark fairy tale retelling, and pulls inspiration from the cult classic favorite and the Hans Christian Andersen original to redefine what it means to be The Little Mermaid.

#thehuntedrelease #bethanykristhehunted #9INERealms #darkfairytaleretelling #bethanykrisnewrelease

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— MY REVIEW —

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Oooooh man. Lots of thoughts are swimming (no pun intended) around in my head after finishing this one. The first one being… what a way to end it. Although this was the start of Bethany-Kris’ new fantasy series.. for some silly reason I had it in my head that it would be a series of standalones. Doh!

This book, despite finishing on a nice enough ending–it is in no way over! To be honest, these days I don’t have the patience or motivation to read books that leave its readers hanging. It’s plain mean and downright depressing and it’s highly unlikely I continue with them… but The Hunted left me needing to know what’ll happen next! NEEDING! ASAP!

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s go back a second. The Hunted is a dark and most definitely an adult retelling of the fairy tale classic; The Little Mermaid.

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No Disney Prince Eric here. Nuh-uh. Prince Eryx is gritty, unyielding and possessive! After witnessing his mother’s murder, at first I could understand and sympathize with his need to exact revenge.. but along the way he becomes swayed and second-guessing sets in in regards to his plans, and I ended up just as as confused about his actions as he was.

There were times I seriously wanted to slap him upside the head, shake him, anything to snap him out of it and to make up his damn mind. I had ongoing love/ hate feels for Eryx. There were times I found him to be protective, sweet and heartfelt, but then he does something that completely has me taken aback that I question whether or not I actually want Arelle with the guy.

Although I can’t say Arelle’s attitude is any better. Haha. My first impressions of her was that she was sensible, reliable and smart enough to know better. But that quickly evaporated after her encounter with Prince Eryx. She became rash, rebellious and well… careless.

The funny thing is despite some of their actions rubbing me the wrong way, I couldn’t help but enjoy the anticipation of seeing further developments between the two.

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Hmm.

I know I’ll have to reread the book again at another time to really let everything sink in. For the time being though, my thoughts and feelings towards Eryx and Arelle individually are a mixed bag. I haven’t completely warmed up to their personalities yet. But together? Their chemistry is palpable. The sparks between them is what kept me reading 😀 And this may be weird and I’m sure I’m in the minority but I actually enjoyed the scenes where they just talked. Or the moments when they were apart and just thought of each other.. *mumbles* More than when they were hooking up.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good bump and grind scene in my romance books just as much as the next romance reader, but I also like my characters’ relationships to have substance deeper than lust; a deeper connection. Eryx and Arelle undoubtedly have the potential to have an epic love story.

This retelling has a Romeo & Juliet/ enemies to lovers vibe about it, which I loved. The complications of having a forbidden relationship is always a juicy romance trope–one that I can never get enough of!

If you enjoy slow burn romances or characters that dance around their feelings and not willing to admit it out loud in your fantasy/ romance books, then this is definitely a story worth checking out.

Besides the two main protagonists–you have disgustingly, evil villainous characters that’ll get your blood pressure up. Secondary characters that are just as shady–with ulterior motives. And an entirely different world that’ll have you wanting to be a part of… yet… not. Hehe.

This is the first book in the 9ine Realms series. I’m not sure how many books there’ll be altogether but as this one is an introduction of sorts.. I did find it wordy and somewhat detailed (I’m guessing to ensure the reader pictures Arelle’s world and how the people of the land and sea differentiate in culture and beliefs). It was a slow start for me. I didn’t get into it until about five or six chapters in. But I tell ya.. after that little hiccup, it was smooth sailing from there onwards. I couldn’t get enough of it! The story picked up pace relatively well once the mood was set and you get a gist of the characters.

This is my first Bethany-Kris book (although I already have a handful more on my kindle ready to be cracked open), so I didn’t have any expectations, comparisons or ideas on her writing style. But one thing I did realise whilst I was reading, is that I became invested… real quick! I was hooked and on the edge of my seat. Arelle and Eryx’s story is a complicated one. There’s so many people involved, there’s a war brewing and there’s definite plot twists–some of which I was not a total fan of, mind you 😛 If you could picture me now, I’d be the girl with her fist up in the air, a frown on her face, and saying “why oh why!?” to the book gods. Lol.

As much as I wanted this to be a standalone and to have a HEA, it was just too big of a world and storyline to be wrapped up in one book. Normally I would advise anyone who’s eager to read this to wait until the sequel is released to avoid the chance of a hangover buuuuuut… it’s too good to not read now! Not going to spoil it, but there is one pivotal moment in The Hunted that solidified my rating for it. It’s a moment that had me releasing a breath I didn’t even realise I was holding. It was an “oh my” moment and quite possibly my favourite scene in the book.

The Hunted is haunting, heartbreaking and brutal. You won’t believe half the things you’ll read but you won’t be able to look away from it either.

A magical start to a dark retelling. Bring on book two! Pleeeeeease!

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Trigger Warning: Contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. It contains rape, abuse, and violence. Explicit sex scenes included. Readers 18+ only!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to Bethany-Kris and Enticing Journey Book Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Happy reading, and as always catch you in my next one! Xo

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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Play

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Hiya guys! So, if you haven’t guessed by now I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan 🙂

Last week (after years of hoping and waiting for it to come down to Australia) I finally got to see The Cursed Child here in Melbourne!

I know this isn’t exactly a book review but I figured it’s Harry Potter, and I still wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of the day.

The entire Cursed Child team are very adamant about not sharing any spoilers aka #keepthesecrets of the magic that is the production, so you can all relax.. this is a SPOILER FREE review!

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So. Let’s begin.

Ok. As some of you may know. When buying tickets to The Cursed Child, you have the option to watch both parts one and two on the same dat, OR you can watch each part on separate days. I went with family (we’re all big HP fans), and we got tickets to see both parts in the one day.

Now. Based on my experience, there’s pros and cons to seeing the entire thing in one day.

PROS: Well, you get to see the entire thing in ONE day! Hehe. You don’t want to wait to see the conclusion to The Cursed Child because it won’t have the same feel. It’s like watching the first half of a movie one night and seeing the other half the following.  

CONS: It’s tiring! The first part started in the afternoon, went on for a couple hours then we had the break. We had three hours to kill (which we took advantage of by having an early dinner) before we had to head back to the theatre for the second part (by then it was nightfall), another couple of hours past then it was officially done. Add in the travel time to and from (if you’re like me coming into the city from an hour away)… and there you have it: TIRING!  

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Now. On the day we went, we were lucky (I guess?) enough to get the entire official Australian cast (so no alternates). Here they are below:

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I wasn’t a complete fan of the screenplay when I read it. I gave it 3 stars (read my review here: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling) but what I do remember loving from that story was Scorpius. So, I was excited to see how he would be in this play.

First impressions?

Uggggh. I was so disappointed. He was portrayed nothing like how I thought he was from the book. Scorpius in the play was jumpy, frazzled and a little off-putting. I think I actually hated him for the entire first part. 

Buuuuuut wait! He did eventually grow on me by the second half. He had a few out of nowhere hilarious moments I couldn’t help but laugh at and by the end Scorpius was like his book counterpart – the saving grace of the entire story!

This is going to sound completely snooty but I don’t care, I can’t help it. It was my thoughts the entire time.. I hated.. the actors/ actresses who played Scorpius’, Ginny (ugh especially Ginny), and Hermione’s voices. Picture high-pitched screeching through a microphone.

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I’m actually curious to see the UK cast and how each actor/ actress portrayed their character. And if the Australian cast was similar or completely different from the other Cursed Child productions around the world. 

•••

How about the production itself?

PROS: The sets, the lighting, the props and the “magic” were amazing!

CONS: Lots of unnecessary bits included that dragged the story, and I felt were big time wasters. It had me questioning why they kept doing it. 

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But whatevs. I’m sure it was to serve a purpose to the cast and crew and the transitions from scene to scene. I just wasn’t liking it.. *shrugs*

Oh. But don’t think I didn’t entirely enjoy any of it. I did have fave parts. I swear! 😉

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Check out this photo and more from:  Official Visit Melbourne

The second part was most definitely the saving grace! After almost dozing off for most of the first half, it was the action-packed, faster paced second half that had me sitting up and soaking in all that dark goodness! The scene pictured above was probably my fave part! It was enthralling, captivating and had me “oohing” and “aahing” from start to finish. They executed that scene perfectly and gave me serious Durmstrang entrance (from Goblet of Fire movie) vibes! The scene alone made the entire day and expensive ass tickets worth it!

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I think my biggest annoyance was the seating itself. It’s great that Melbourne won out the bidding to have The Cursed Child playing there but (IMHO) the theatre was all wrong. Although the theatre was recently renovated, the ceilings are low and having sat in the seating, I (and I’m sure a lot of those around me) did not have a very good view of the stage or the cast. And we certainly did not have a view of the back of the stage.

Before you say anything – yes, there were things occuring at the back of the stage in some scenes that would’ve been nice to see. Add the fact that I had a couple of giant heads sitting right in front of me blocking 80% of what little view of the stage I had. I came away from that $400 out of pocket to see said “giant heads”, hear the live orchestra and see half of the cast.

There was only one thing I could think of that made sitting in the upper seats fine. But I can’t share it with you guys. Sorry, but #keepthesecrets and all that. Just know, it was pretty cool to see! All I’ll say is it’s another “ooh” and “aah” moment 😛

So if you’re planning to see it in Melbourne, try and grab seats on the lower level. None of the seats in the theatre are elevated so you might as well try and grab seats on the same level as the stage.

•••

In conclusion. Do I think spending about AU$200 for each part worth it? Nope. If I could, I would’ve skipped the first half and just watched the second (especially since I’d already read the book). But that’s just my opinion based from my experience.

I have no doubt people enjoyed the entire thing (hey, the play wouldn’t have gotten raved reviews it wasn’t enjoyable, right?)

And the crowd I was with, I was surprised that the majority had not read the book because when the “plot twist” had finally arrived, the amount of gasps I had me chuckling in reaction. LOL.

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Let’s move on and talk about The Cursed Child merch!

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Were they expensive? Hell yes. But it is a once in a lifetime experience and with the expensive tickets I doubt you’ll go back and see it again, so you might as well buy a momento or two.

Whenever I go watch a play, musical or concert, I always try and get the program book. Which I did here. It was AU$25 and that’s to be expected.

They were also selling house merch – like beanies, scarves, mugs, pens, totes, badges, hoodies and shirts.

But if I were you, I would buy the official Cursed Child merch that has the logo on it. You can grab HP house merch just about anywhere these days but it’s rare to see any The Cursed Child merch. I hear you can order the merch online, so there’s that at least (but remember shipping costs included). Remember, these are pretty pricey merchandize.

RATING: ♥♥♥/5

Overall. The same as the book. Meh, okay. It wasn’t the best play I’d seen, and certainly not the best acting.. but it’s friggin’ Harry Potter! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

 

Infinity by Jus Accardo

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— BLURB —

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away… That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

•••

— MY REVIEW —

This was surprising an enjoyable read. I borrowed from my local library after having read the blurb and I’m really glad I did because now I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series! 🙂

My thoughts on the characters:

Let’s start with Kori. She was a treat! No sarcasm here — I mean that in a good way! I’ve ready so many books with female leads who are tough, who have attitude, but who almost always irritates me at some point with their cockiness because they know how to fight and can take care of themselves. I mean… it’s cool that they’re independent ass-kicking chicks but what gets me is when they’re smug about it. Kori isn’t like that. She’s a realistic character. She’s an army brat (her dad is a General) and although she’s not interested in ever joining the military, her dad made sure she can at least defend herself in case of emergency —

Quite early on in the story there’s a part where Kori gets chased, dragged into an alley and attacked by Dylan (the antagonist in the story). At the time she didn’t know who he was and although she was scared out of her mind of this random guy trying to kill her, she knew that if she didn’t try to escape she’d be done for. Reading this part, reading her desperation to survive by kicking, scratching, trying to call out for help, anything really — it’s part of the book that just seemed so real to me… (I mean it’s the type of crime you hear and see on the news more and more these days, am I right?) There was no magical powers or epic weapons to help her out; it was gritty, intense and had me really imagining the scene. This was the scene that had me rooting for Kori. It was from this point on that I knew that Infinity was something I would enjoy reading.

Cade seems like a nice enough guy for the most part, I guess. To be honest when he wasn’t thinking about wanting to stop Dylan, he was pining for Kori (both of them).. but other than that I didn’t get much of a personality out of the guy. Maybe because they’re in a time sensitive mission I dunno… but it would’ve been nice to see more of what makes him tick. He always seemed like he was in soldier-mode. Kind of… umm… what’s the word?? Reserved..? *shrugs* 😅

And when he did show emotion, it was usually snippets of an angry temper! Talk about going from 0 to 100 in a split second.

Here’s the two personality traits Cade displayed:

Trait Number One ↓

  

and then there’s Trait Number Two ↓

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It’s obvious from the beginning that he’s not the antagonist in this story and his actions throughout have meaning behind it. I couldn’t help but sympathize but I also couldn’t help think that the few occasions where he did go ballistic, Kori never thought to back away. There were occasions where she felt intimidated and realized that Cade was more similar to Dylan than originally thought but still kept confronting him. I don’t know.. if that was me, I would’ve kept my mouth shut, walked out of the room calmly and given him some time to cool off. Like sheesh girl, you don’t poke an angry bear no matter what!

But… whenever he and Kori found themselves awkwardly alone I couldn’t help but grin. They would start talking about his relationship with ‘his’ Kori and eventually start secretly think about kissing each other — I know it’s weird and confusing but it’s young love. Still cute! 😁

Ahhh! Okay, Noah next! He’s probably my fave character from the bunch! The stocky-built guy who stayed tight-lipped for most of the book (unless something really ticked him off) and who was ALWAYS eating! Bonus!! Love him! He was an onion all throughout, with each layer something new was revealed about him.

He has a unusual relationship with Kori. In his world, he was Kori’s older brother and they had a pretty close relationship…but in this dimension, Noah was never born and therefore Kori never had a brother. After what happened to his sister in his world, he tries to keep his distance from this Kori, but at the same time she’s trying to figure him out. So it’s sort of a push and pull dynamic. I love the gradual growth of their relationship and how deeply he really does care for Kori (for all the Koris).

He is THE sweetest guy! He really is. When everything gets revealed about why he acts the way he does and the ending… where Kori kind of sacrifices herself and says goodbye to him and he’s left speechless and his expression is one of wishing they could have more time together. Ugh! The feeeeeels!

Now. After having read this one, I wanted to know more about the series so I checked Goodreads and discovered the second book revolves around Noah and his life. Eeeeep! I can’t wait to read it! 😁

Aaaaaaand… then there’s Dylan. *Sigh* He’s a hot mess. A broody one at that!

He’s driven to CRAZY by a tragic accident. It was hard to completely hate the dude.. but it was also hard not to think of him as a nutjob what with all the stuff he did to get revenge and to try and get the love of his life back. I read that the third and upcoming book in the series centers around Dylan. I’m really curious to read more about his past before all the running around and murder sprees occurred. The way Cade and Noah talked about him and how they grew up together, he seemed like a genuinely caring guy who was full of love.

If you’ve watched The Vampire Diaries, Dylan reminds me of Damon. The guy who hides his pain by acting out, getting revenge and going on killing sprees. But deep down he’s a tortured soul.

I’m eager to see how this all ends for Dylan. The way Infinity concluded, it seemed like there was still some spark of good in him left but I can’t imagine the ending going any other way besides finally turning himself in.. or dying tragically (I think it maybe the latter).

Either way, Dylan gave this story the drive that kept it interesting and unpredictable. You can thank Dylan for the rollercoaster ride. If he makes it out of this alive, I strongly suggest he goes to therapy and anger management classes! Hell.. send him to a one of those friggin retreats! What can I say? I’m a sucker for villains, anti-heroes and morally gray characters! 😜

My thoughts on the storyline:

This was a relatively short book (about 300+ pages). It goes straight into explaining multiple worlds, multiple versions of people and why Kori is in danger fairly quickly but it doesn’t feel rushed. The story wasn’t lacking and didn’t drag on. Kori, Cade and Noah were in a time pressured mission and you can really feel that throughout the book. There was just enough backstory of Cade, Noah, Dylan and their version of Kori to give you an idea of how they’re all connected to one another. I thought it had the right amount of sci-fi, suspense and romance to keep you intrigued.

I recommend trying this one if you’re tipping your toes into the YA sci-fi genre and not completely ready for the full-on science fiction mumbo-jumbo-techie-jargon. I know I’m not, and this was written so well that you can follow Kori’s personal story as well as the without any confusion. This is my first Jus Accardo book but I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the near future.

Ooh, annnnd if you’re like me.. romance is always a bonus (no matter what genre) and this one was.. yes.. complicated (what with the multiple Earths and multiple Koris and Cades) but still a nice young love story *cue the swooning!* 😄

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5


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Happy reading guys! Wishing you all a great month and catch you in my next one! Xo

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition

OCTOBER 3, 2017 — The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition was officially released!! Wooooooo!! 😀 😀

Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition

↑↑ Do you guys see this?! How friggin’ unbelievably stunning is this cover?! ♥ My all time fave book from the series! #themarauders #siriusblack

JOURNEY TO GETTING A COPY

I literally scrambled around my local shopping centre (or “mall” for you guys in the US) going from bookshop to bookshop trying to grab a copy during release day.

I’m usually the type who pre-orders months in advance, but I found that with the first two HP illustrated editions I had pre-ordered came almost 2 weeks later (due to overseas shipping) and to be honest they weren’t cheap. I may be a massive HP fan but with what seems like dozens of new HP-related books being released every other month I want books at the lowest possible price! (I’m a girl on a budget..but yet, I need them all! Haha!)

It doesn’t help that I live in Australia where hardcover editions are scarce, and when they ARE available they cost as much as they weigh! *le sigh*

Oops I’m getting sidetracked here, but anyways long story short — after an hour and having gone to 3 bookshops with no luck (like c’mon! How can they not stock the book?! It’s Harry Potter! Ugh!), the fourth and final bookshop was my last hope… I think you guys can pretty much guess how it turned out for me. Lol 😉

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Okay! Here’s my mini book review ↓ It’s more on the overall look and illustrations by Jim Kay. I’m sure many of you know the story by now. If not, then what are you waiting for? Read it!!

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↓ MY REVIEW ↓

First off — The cover is phenomenal. I’m loving all the purple.. and it stands out from the first two illustrated books that have “day” covers, whilst this one is clearly set at night.

The illustrations for the Marauders Map, Lupin as a werewolf and the Greenhouse are just some of my faves, but no joke every page is pure magic! The detail and the vibrant colours — Jim Kay is an illustrating genius! If you guys already have a copy, did you gasp at the illustration of Sirius Black, like I did?? At first glance I thought why is the Grudge here?! Bahaha! But after soaking it in, and realising it was him..I thought “Omigosh! Jim really made him look like a scary-as-hell-crim!” – It looks sickkkk! *thumbs up!*

These editions are perfect for HP fans who are also collectors and a nice version for young readers to delve into. It brings a whole new experience to Harry Potter 🙂

I’m also thankful to JK and to Bloomsbury for the planned yearly releases of each one. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps the wizarding world abuzz!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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No real rating needed. It’s Harry Potter! It’s amazing! Everyone needs these illustrated editions in their lives! 😀


Question(s): What do you want to see on the cover of the Goblet of Fire illustrated edition, and what colour do you want the book to be?

 

Wildfire by C.L. Aire

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— BLURB —

In the void between the worlds something is shifting. The balance between the Elements is slipping and the darkness is growing.

A girls nightmare speaks of things yet to come, a battle against beings filled with shadows. A young man watches death approach, cold as the blade it rides. A rose blooms in the pale moonlight, a gentle breeze stirs in the stillness and yellow eyes watch over the city.
And destiny has linked them all…
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The earth will dress in blood and pain
And seas will scream beneath the rain
The tortured air will twist and turn
And in the fire, darkness burns

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— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Read at own risk!

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I think it’s obvious from my previous book reviews that 99% of the books I read are from the Fantasy fiction genre. So when Claire asked if I would be interested in reading her book, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes!

I will be honest in saying when I checked the synopsis of her book on Goodreads, I found it to be a little vague. I knew the protagonist was a young female who sees visions in her dreams of what will happen in the future, and one in particular of Immortals is what sets this story. But other than that I didn’t know what to expect.

So it was all the more curious in reading this book.

I’ll admit it was a slow start for me. It took a little while to get into the story but once Cassie, Kieran and Gemma reached Harbour town I was right there with them.

I’m a big fan of fantasy books where the characters journey to other lands, so I was naturally hooked on the whole “travelling” aspect of Cassie’s story. I would have loved if a map was included in this book just because the places Cassie and her friends travel to seem so different from one another it would have been nice to see a physical image of the different towns they encounter and how much they would have travelled from Ar-ken.

Quick Update: The author has recently shared news that a world map of Tarraneia has been created. No word yet if it will be included in future copies of Wildfire but in the meantime please check it out on her Instagram here: Map of Tarraneia

Getting back to my review. I’m going to be a bit nitpicky and let you guys know my pros and cons of the characters and certain parts of the book:

wildfireCassie is the main protagonist in this story and it was her dreams that led her and her friends to travel on this journey but I felt the first quarter of the book the lead was Gemma. I almost felt like this was Gemma’s story and her journey to stop the Immortals. I was very fascinated with her and her family’s culture/ lifestyle. They understood the world differently it almost seemed like there was something there that could be key in helping stop the destruction. I wouldn’t have minded if Gemma was the main protagonist just because I felt there was so much more to her, her brother and the mystery behind the Weeran people that I would have wanted to read more about.

Gemma might be my favourite from the three friends. She knows who she is and what she’s capable of. In my opinion the wisest of the friends.

Kieran on the other hand is the skeptic from the three. He doesn’t have dreams like Cassie and he’s not like Gemma who’s in touch with the lands so I felt like he was the most normal? and relatable character just because he was your everyday type of person.

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I can’t say I like Cassie all that much for most of the book. She doesn’t seem to be good friend and her decision-making sucks! I think a lot of things that happened throughout their journey could have been avoided if she was more willing to speak up with her friends.I was frustrated with her a lot of the time and couldn’t help but roll my eyes. All I can say is she’s damn lucky there’s so many people willing to help her. 😛

Cassie in my opinion is the one who’s the most unsure of herself and what she could be capable of. Which is not a bad thing. The way things were developing in the book and especially how things ended, Cassie’s character development is sure to grow and I for one can’t wait to see her at her full potential.

When it comes to the storyline. I wished I could have seen a deeper connection between Cassie, Kieran and Gemma. They’re suppose to be the closest of friends but it didn’t come across that way. I saw a deeper friendship between Cassie, Anna and Jhi to be honest. I almost didn’t believe that they grew up together. But maybe all in due time we’ll see their closeness..?

I also thought certain scenes seem to end abruptly where I think it could’ve been delved into in more detail. I felt like I couldn’t even grasp what had happened and the next thing you know something new has transpired. The transition from one scene to the next could have been smoother.

Ok. Let’s get onto my favourite parts of the book. 😄

The part where they meet Ardian. He was the first character I instantly liked. I don’t know what it is about sweet-pie men captaining a ship *cough cough* (Hook from Once Upon A Time or Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles) but they always get me. 😉 His budding romance with Gemma was adorable but short-lived. I wanted more!! I really wished it lasted a little longer. It also had me thinking is this all we’ll see of Ardian? I’m hoping not.

Cassie falling in the hands of Jhi and Anna was a breath of fresh air. I love Anna and Jhi! They added an oomph to the storyline and introducing the “Mouse Hole” and “The Rat” gave the storyline another level of excitement for me. The side story of Anna and Jhi’s relationship was a treat to read. I’m a sucker for a bit (or a lot) of romance in my fantasy books so this definitely curbed my craving.

But besides romance, I love a good book that can totally take me by surprise and does Wildfire do that?

Yes. Yes it did.

I did not see it coming what happened with two certain characters in the end (*hint hint* Kieran and Jhi). The ending leaves us just when the real story begins so I’m really curious to know what will happen next, especially with Jhi. Who knew he would have some sort of power in him? I was shocked when he got stabbed in the neck I really thought he was another beloved character I was disappointed to see go. (But seriously! That neck stab was the last thing I was picturing would happen to him!)

Keiran coming back from the dead was another thing I didn’t see coming. But thinking about it now I probably should have, considering Cassie is a bit stubborn and of course she wasn’t going to lose another friend.

All in all I really liked the story. It was an easy read with short chapters (which is always a plus in my books). There’s so much potential in it to becoming an unbelievable fantasy fiction series. It has magic, it has action, friendship and a touch of romance mixed in. Everything I think makes for an awesome YA fantasy fiction book! I can’t wait for the next installment.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

Thank you to C.L. Aire for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


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Happy reading and catch you in my next one! Xo

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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•••

— BLURB —

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I loved Six of Crows so the minute I finished it I went straight into Crooked Kingdom (which I highly recommend you do so you don’t torture yourself with a cliffhanger).

After Kaz and the crew survived the job at the Ice Court I was relieved! Everyone was alive and together and I was just one happy chappy.. but to find out the job was a scam?!?Ohh I knew Kaz would destroy Van Eck and anyone who was working with and I knew whatever his plan was it was going to be epic!

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And I was right! Just like Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom did not disappointed in the twists and turns and the unexpected.

If I thought I was on the edge of my seat reading Six of Crows, let’s just say I wasn’t even sitting down anymore for Crooked Kingdom. I was in panic-mode, anxious with sweaty palms reading this book. I was preparing myself for the worst. You guys know what. Death of a beloved character! Yup. It could happen at anytime and it certainly did here. I’m sad to say that I knew they wouldn’t all make it out alive but for one of them to die so suddenly by someone who wasn’t even one of the original bad guys in the book!?

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

SPOILER ALERT!

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I cried. No wait. I bawled my eyes out when Matthias was shot and he struggles himself back to Nina just so he could see her one last time! Like what?!?!? Why !?!?! 😭😭😭

Why would Leigh Bardugo kill off a character in the way? Why would she kill her readers along with him!? My heart sank. For Mathias and especially for Nina. I felt like I was there with her. Crying and begging for Mathias to stay alive.

What made me cry even more was when she accidently brought him back with her power except it wasn’t really him anymore it was more like his body being commanded by her. It was just one HUGE sad part of the book! 💔

Sure, it was almost the end but still..

And speaking of the end of the book. It’s been 4 days since I finished it and I’m still reeling from the lack of ending. In my opinion anyways. I felt it was unfinished. So many things lingered and left open.

  1. Kaz and Inej were together – but not really. It wasn’t the result I was hoping for. It almost felt like the beginning of something between them rather than the big “fireworks” kiss that we’ve all been waiting for that should have after having gone through all of the things they went through. I don’t know. I just wished for more.
  2. Nina’s exit out of the storyline felt cut off. Yeah her plans were to go back to Fjerda to bury Matias and try and help as much Fjerdan soldiers as she could but I figured at the very end we would at least hear from her. See if she made it. Something? Anything? But there wasn’t, so I felt like if Leigh wanted to she could keep going and write another book in the fabulous story. (Here’s to wishing again!)
  3. Jesper: promising his father he would return to the farm once Wylan was settled back at his old home. But then they seem to be together too so how would that work? Was he just planning on visiting his dad or actually moving back? Because the way he said it to his dad it could be interpreted differently by each reader.
  4. Another thing with Kaz and Inej. Kaz has plans to rule Ketterdam, starting with The Barrel. Inej has big plans to command her own ship and crew and free slaves but yet she asked Kaz to help her. Once again, how will that work? Will he stay at Ketterdam whilst she sails around and they’ll just write to each other? And then there’s the question of her parents. Kaz (that sweety!) had gotten Nikolai (that’s right, he made an appearance!) to help find her parents. Will Inej go back with them first?
  5. The book ends with Pekka Rollins as the final chapter and point of view. This was the guy that Kaz wanted to destroy. I suppose when you look at it from a different perspective Kaz did finally destroy his life but the things he did to Kaz – that made him the way he is now you would think he would just kill Pekka in the end but he didn’t. It just makes you think, you know? Could Pekka return? Eventually?

There’s just so many unanswered questions and things left open. I want to know! It felt like an open ending which is worse than a cliffhanger because at least with cliffhangers there’s another book to read. Crooked Kingdom, as far as I know is IT! The book that was suppose to wrap the story up but I have more questions now than when the story initially began. Frustrating stuff right here! Haha. Or maybe I’m just overthinking everything. But these are questions that popped into my head the second I read the last page!

I love the bits of romance here and there whether between Nina and Mathias, Jesper and Wylan and yes of course between Kaz and Inej. I took whatever I could from those two but I was hungry for more. Lol!

There was the perfect amount of emotional heartfelt scenes, flashbacks and action that I was always hooked.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

This was such an easy read. Beautifully written story that draws you in instantly from start to finish. I’m still surprised how much I ended up loving these books considering The Grisha Trilogy was just average for me. If you haven’t fallen in love with each of the characters yet during Six of Crows then you would definitely be changing your mind after reading more about them in this one.

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I wish I could give this one full rating like Six of Crows then it would really be a fist-pumping series. But all the questions rattling around in my head really took points of my rating. But I still think this is an unbelievable book. The entire duology has become one of my all time faves now. It’s caused me to have book hangover (not as massive as Maas’ books) but nevertheless I’m having withdrawals.

No Mourners. No Funerals.


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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— BLURB —

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

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

•••

— MY REVIEW —

If you read my review on The Grisha Trilogy, you would know that I did not love at as much as the majority of readers did. But my friends insisted I read the trilogy first before I read Six of Crows to get a feel for the world and apparently some characters from those books were making cameos in this one so that’s what I did.

I’ll tell you now though. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to read the trilogy first before Six of Crows because it doesn’t affect the storyline or characters in any way. But in saying that, I started reading Six of Crows with a familiarity to the world already and how tough it is so..it’s up to you whether or not you want to start with The Grisha Trilogy first 🙂

•••

WARNING WARNING WARNING

Caution_Spoilers

•••

Now, onto my review.

This is probably the only place I can let out my opinions and rants in full so if you read ahead, be prepared for spoilers. Giving you a heads up now!

What can I say about Six of Crows? Well.. It was unbelievably phenomenal! There’s only a handful of books/ book series I can say are my total favourites and Six of Crows has been added to that list.

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I knew everyone who ha read it raved on about it but I didn’t want that affecting me because before I read The Grisha Trilogy, everyone was telling me it was that good and that I was going to love it as well…and well I didn’t. So I went into Six of Crows with no expectations except that it was in the same fictional world and that the characters would be similar in a way?

But I have to say it completely blew the trilogy out of the water for me. The characters in Six of Crows were a bunch of misfits that just meshed well together. They are an ultimate crew. The differences in each character, their personalities and the way they interact with one another is what sold this book for me.

The book is written in a point of view format. So each chapter is a character from their point of view. At first I thought it might be a little difficult to follow as there are six main characters here and all with a story to tell but it was very well written. It was easy to follow and it just flowed. I couldn’t read it fast enough and I couldn’t put it down.

You get to know each character, their past and how they came to be where they are now. I fell in love with all the characters. They’re the characters that have gone through the worst of the worst and are trying to get out it.

You have Kaz Brekker. The leader of this crew. The guy who has a plan within plan within a plan and so forth. He is the most complicated guy from them all (and quite possibly from any fictional character I’ve encountered). He’s the most intriguing. He doesn’t open up and when he does it almost seems like it was by accident. That alone kept me turning pages. He’s unemotional, very calculating and gives off that vibe of “this is all business” but the deeper you read the more you realise everything is not what it seems with the guy and you get hooked. I don’t know anyone who’s read this book and did not come away from it not falling in love with him. I know I did!! (Inej is one lucky chick!)

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There’s Inej (Aka Spider. Aka The Wraith). Quite possibly my favourite from them all if I had to choose 😉 She, I can’t help feel for the most. I know they’ve all gone through hell but if I went through what Inej had I would have been dead long ago. She has a strength in her that I gravitated towards from the get go. The thing she has going with Kaz doesn’t hurt the book either. Lol. I only wished there was more of it! Leigh Bardugo really knows how to torture her readers with little crumbs of romance. Haha.. oh sigh.

Then there’s Nina. Who I would say is the closest connection you would have to The Grisha Trilogy because she is a Grisha (or was training to become one) who is just trying to get back to her life but can’t until the mess she got herself into gets fixed. I love Nina. She’s spunky, funny, kicks ass, loves food. She’s very relatable. She’s so sassy. I loved reading her point of view. I love her backstory and the reason as to why she’s with Kaz and the crew.

Mathias. Oh man this guy. This guy is pure soldier. Until you get to read more of him. He may just be the tough yet sweet guy you’d be looking for in this book. The struggle he goes through with what’s right and wrong puts you on edge. I found myself literally talking to “him” whilst I was reading it. I was like “dude, c’mon!” Do you guys argue with fictional characters too? 😜

Jesper is the Sharpshooter and a hoot! He cracks me up with his flirty ways and untimely jokes and comments. I’m giggling just thinking about him now. He’s definitely the comedic relief in certain parts of the story where things are getting a little heated or problematic. He’s just a one of those guys who could cheer you up and he does. His friendship with Inej throughout this book had me smiling,his brotherly-like relationship with Kaz had my heart and his budding relationship with Wylan was one I did not see coming until later but I’m rooting for them!

Wylan is the kid in the group. Well they’re all pretty young in age but I see him as the baby of the group. Just because he seems like the naive, innocent, lost one from the crew. You almost think he’s a bit useless at the beginning (especially since he doesn’t know how to fight) but doesn’t mean he is. He is a Brainiac. I would keep an eye on him. He may just be the slyest of them all. 😉

I was surprised to read that the characters were only 16-18 years old which isn’t young (considering it’s a YA book) but when you read it you would never have guessed. I pictured them more to be in their early 20’s at the most but it doesn’t affect the experience one bit once you get your head around it.

The storyline is clever. So many twists and turns. I felt like I couldn’t pinpoint where the story was heading at all. Nothing was predictable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

I wish it was longer than a Duology. This is a YA Fantasy fiction reader’s dream book!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SIX OF CROWS!! I will shove people into bookstores, get them to buy it online, whatever! This is a must read! Full rating and more from me!!

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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— BLURB —

• Shadow and Bone •

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

• Siege and Storm •

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

• Ruin and Rising •

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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— MY REVIEW —

I thought I would review all three books in the series into one review. I read them a few months back but with life getting in the way this review is tad late but better late than never! This is going to be a an extra long one so I applaud you if you get through to the end 😀

Shadow and Bone (Book One): 

shadow_and_boneI had high hopes for this series and could not wait to get started. Everyone was raving on about The Darkling and to be honest it was the main reason as to why I wanted to read it. I was hooked from the first chapter. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I instantly fell in love with Mal but I was still very much curious about The Darkling and why he was everyone’s “favourite villain”.

Let’s just say when he finally came onto the scene I could see what people saw in him. He was the strong, powerful, dark, mysterious character. But there wasn’t enough there for me to say “yeah I love the guy”, you know? He seem like a misunderstood character at the beginning until he finally showed his colours and by then I was yelling at my book thinking “people like this guy??”. I thought he was villain. A typical, evil, cruel villain. Plain and simple. If anything I wanted him destroyed. I wanted Alina to wake up and smell the coffee. I wanted Mal to finish him off. But considering this was the first book in the trilogy, I knew that wouldn’t be the case (a girl could dream, right? hehe)

I found this book to be any easy read. It was probably the book I finished the fastest from all three just because I was already loving the fictional world and of course Mal 😉 But I have to say the halfway through the book it took a turn for me. It went from a really addictive read that I couldn’t put down to a slower pace during the second half. I also started finding Alina to be a little annoying just because she was indecisive until it was too late. There was just so much frustration reading this on and I disappointed at how quickly I went from loving this book to just liking it.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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Siege and Storm (Book Two): 

siege_and_stormAlthough this book introduces Nikolai who’s become one of my favourite characters, he wasn’t enough for me to give it a full rating. From all three books this one took the longest for me to finish just because I felt it dragged on. The pace was really slow and I have to admit the entire book was one big “plan” to go into war with the Darkling. I needed more action in the storyline. There was a lot of planning and taking the steps to make sure they were prepared (which they still weren’t) but there was no real battle. I was actually expecting this to be the book that had the big major war (or at least the beginning of it) but there was nothing like that. It was every underwhelming. 😞

I will say that the introduction of Nikolai in this book saved it for me. He was the sexy, flirty, funny privateer (almost like Captain Jack Sparrow or Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles)..you know the type. The little triangle between Alina, Mal and himself had me smirking all throughout. I wish I could explain in words why I found the storyline lacklustre. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. Usually people say the second book almost always tops the first but in this case (in opinion), Shadow and Bone was a lot more appealing.

RATING: ♥♥♥

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Ruin and Rising (Book Three): 

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The 3rd and final book in the series. I had high hopes this book would turns things around and finish with a bang!

So, did it?

Sigh.

Nope.

I figured the big battle between Alina and The Darkling that I thought would come in Siege and Storm would of course be in this book but I guess I blinked and missed it because one minute I was reading beasts flying around attacking people and darkness everywhere then the next The Darkling was stabbed and Alina holding onto him and comforting him in a way. It was all anti-climatic for me. It was one giant sigh but the end of that scene. I was seriously questioning if that was it?? By the end of it I realized this entire series was all about the Grisha themselves and what they could do and what they were capable of doing with their powers if there were no rules – not necessarily about The Darkling or Alina being their savior. This was just a starting off point for this world.

For those who don’t know Leigh Bardugo wrote Six of Crows which takes place in the same fictional world and I can’t help but think this trilogy has almost become a prequel? or a backstory of the world. It gives the readers an insight to it and to the people that live there. Well, that’s how I am seeing it now that I’ve read Six of Crows too.

It’s nice that the trilogy did finish off the story completely by telling us what happened to Alina and Mal and to Nikolai and what was left of the Grisha army. I love that it was all wrapped up and no questions needed to be answered. I don’t necessarily like the fact that Mal and Alina moved away from it all and decided to live a quiet life. It literally sounds nice after what they’ve gone through to finally be together but I just couldn’t picture them (especially) Alina walking away when she could’ve helped rebuild Ravka.

But hey… I’m just happy Mal lived on. Hehe.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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It’s a nice series overall. I would still recommend it to YA fantasy fiction fans. I know a ton of readers who loved this series so it’s really all about preference. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a read 😊 I do love the world. It’s definitely different from any other fantasy fictional worlds I’ve read about.

OVERALL TRILOGY RATING: ♥♥♥½

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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— BLURB —

Hell has literally broken loose. Demonic beings are everywhere and the only way to put a stop to these things forming into an unstoppable army is for Aelin to pull together her strength and finish the mission she started long ago. There will be unexpecting and old allies alike that will be called upon to fight but the question is who will answer, who will fight, who will survive and who will be sacrificed in order to keep Erilea from breaking apart?  This is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series.

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— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Caution_Spoilers

Guys, I’m putting a cautionary warning now incase I do somehow add spoilers in without thinking. So if you haven’t read this book, don’t read on. I don’t want to be the person who spoils a book that may possibly be just as amazing for you as it was for me!

THIS BOOK TOPS ALL THE BOOKS IN THE SERIES! I don’t know why I love this one the most, I just do! Maybe because all the characters I’ve been loving from Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows have bigger roles in this one. Or maybe all that I was hoping for from the last book came true in this one. It’s just beyond amazing. Well worth the anxiety!

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Bare with me I have tons to say. I don’t even know if you would consider this as a review anymore but more of a rant/ questioning/ fangirling blog post. But I just need to let it out!

But before I try and put my thoughts into words for you guys in this review, let’s take a minute to appreciate another beautiful cover. I can’t say it’s my favourite cover but I can’t deny it’s still eye candy and if I knew nothing about this book, I would still buy it just for the cover! 😉

Okay, let’s start with any negatives..? Hmm.. maybe the fact that the pages are super thin. I get that the book is over 600+ pages and having thinner pages means the book won’t be as thick but c’mon I was practically able to see the ink from the other side. I have the paperback edition as well and I can say it’s the same thing. Just a tip, flip the pages slowly and carefully!

I also wasn’t a huge fan of Aelin in this book *ducks and hides* 🙈 I mean I’m used to her bitchy, I’m-so-good-I-can-kick-ass attitude from the previous books but there were times where I was like dude, c’mon on you don’t have to be that high and mighty and oh look at that.. it backfires anyways. I’m just relieved it was only in some scenes and it didn’t go on til the end of the book or else I wouldn’t have been able to give this one full ratings.

What else?

Um.. okay. As much as I didn’t like seeing where some characters were heading or what could very well happen to them, I can’t really say it was a complete negative either. It’s part of the story and as much as I don’t want to see any of my beautiful characters possibly dying, I still loved the storyline. I love the character developments. I love the relationships. I love everything!!

I might be in the minority here but whatevs. We can’t help who we like right? And I am liking…no wait… LOVING Lorcan! I knew he couldn’t possibly be that much of a bad guy from Heir of Fire/ Queen of Shadows. 😉 I love that there is so much possibilities with his character. He’s the character I’m most excited to read about in the next (and final) book. I need to know what happens with him and Elide too! Eeeeeek! I stopped breathing at how it ended with those two in this book. But I have a strong and nagging feeling he won’t live to the end of this series.

I also loved that Lorcan pushes Rowan and Aelin’s buttons so much and vice versa. I love that he has a history with Rowan that I think it helps readers see why he is the way he is. I love the Cadre – Gavriel and Fenrys. I would love to know more about them (hoping and wishing a possible Novella on Rowan and his cadre!?? Ugh!)

Okay… I think that’s enough Lorcan talk. It’s slowly becoming a Lorcan love-fest here. Hehehe #sorrynotsorry ❤❤

CheesySmile

The development between Manon and Dorian I can’t say is exactly how I would’ve wanted it but hey.. baby steps! 😉 I’m also loving Manon a little more than Aelin in this one. She’s truly a Queen to me!

Aedion and Lysandra’s relationship in this book however was a rollercoaster ride. One minute it’s all fun and games, next you’re fearing for your life.. or should I say theirs? I can’t say I’m happy with what Lysandra has cooked up with Aelin that not only made Aedion sick to his stomach but shocked me as well! Like, are you kidding me girl?! I don’t even know how to process that fact the Aelin even thought of this scheme and that Lysandra agreed to it. Who cares if you’re her friend or you serve her. That is just messed up! Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this?! My heart goes out to both Aedion and Rowan. And I suppose even to Lysandra. There’s a particular harsh line the Aedion says to her that even I was stunned by (no matter how hurt he was by the plan).

I can’t say I was surprised by the little announcement made by Rowan in regards to Aelin *cough* his wife *cough* and I’m also not surprised by the discovery of them being “mates” either. But I’m glad Sarah J Maas added it in there anyways to really cement the bond that they already have and in a way show readers who Aelin is really meant to be with. 😊

Sigh. There’s a lot of relationships happening in this book and it just strengthens my fear that nothing good ever lasts. And I just know one or more of these couples will tear my heart out!

The storyline itself is clever and it flows. Some parts I saw coming and some took me by surprise. So this is definitely another book you won’t want to put down once you start reading it.

I was a little taken aback that Chaol wasn’t in it all! I was seriously thinking that he was going to pop up just when Aelin and her court needed saving or when I least expected it but nope, nada. A bit bummed by that. I felt this was such a perfect book but then Chaol was missing..

Another reason why I think this is my favourite book is because all the characters considering where they’re from, who they’re fighting for – all came together and formed this “Court”. This seriously ass-kicking Court (even if it was only temporary).

I just can’t say enough good things about Empire of Storms. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the wait for the next book. I laughed. I cried. I kid you not, I yelled at the book at times. I had to take breathers, walk it off, get a snack before I could even delve back into it again. Oh and did I mention I cried? It’s that freakin GOOD!!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

AHHHHHHHHH!! This is one book you cannot miss out on reading. I can’t imagine how Sarah J Maas will top this one with the final book in the series but I know somehow she will. READ EMPIRE OF STORMS! You won’t regret it!! 😁😁😁

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📚 Read my reviews for the series!

(In reading order)

Book One: Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Book Two: Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Book Three: Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Novellas: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Book Four: Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas


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Happy reading! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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