Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another super late book review I’m finally posting. I don’t remember why I never posted this in the first place, but whatevs… It’s here now! 😊

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

••• 

— MY REVIEW —



⚠ WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!



This was my second sci-fi book ever read (The first was The Martian, which I loved!) So I seriously hoping it would be similar to that book in the sense that the “science-y” stuff is going to be easy to follow, that there was a bit of humor to break up all the technical aspect and based off of the synopsis a bit of romance.

Well… this book didn’t fail. I loveeeeed it! 🙌 I’ve been saying to just about anyone who would listen that if all science fiction books were as amazing as The Martian and Illuminae are then I could be reading a lot more from the genre! 😉

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I think another thing that captured me with Illuminae is how quirky and different the book layout was. It wasn’t set out like your everyday typical book. Some of the pages were written to form images, some were written to make follow each line into a bigger picture. It’s hard to explain, all I can say is if you haven’t gotten a copy yet – do! Go to your local bookshop, look for it and just flip through it and you’ll see what I’m trying to say.

The book overall is set a journal/ records type format and put together into one big file, basically. So there’s emails between characters, logs recorded from certain days and interviews. It’s ridiculously jam-packed!

It’s very well created and it had me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. It was hard putting it down for the day.

I never saw full reviews on Illuminae prior to reading it so I wasn’t sure what people thought of it besides whether or not they liked it but I have to say halfway through the book I had a strong sense of Resident Evil-esque to the story line. Where the spaceship’s AI (aka AIDAN) is corrupted and pretty much turns evil and starts wanting to kill everyone on board but thinking he’s doing the right thing. Then you have half the crew and civilians on board infected with some kind of virus that’s also causing serious problems all over the ship. It’s one massive chaotic disaster that puts you on the edge of your seat.


“Am I not merciful?” — AIDAN


Reading about Kady and Ezra’s roller coaster relationship added a romantic touch to an otherwise sci-fi story line and it pretty revolves around them and wanting to keep each other safe. I loved reading their messages to one another. It’s probably the bits of the book I loved reading the most.

Besides the sci-fi aspect and the romance aspect – this book also provides us with comical relief in all the right places (usually involving Ezra because he’s a funny smartass). 😄

Downside to being introduced to super cool characters?

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That was me the further I read. As much as I loved reading Kady and Ezra’s exchange of funny but sweet banter-filled emails, I knew it wouldn’t have lasted forever and I was right. Why do authors love making us fall for characters just to take them away from us?

Spoiler Alert: Ezra died! 🙈

Yep… and just like Kady, you don’t find out til it’s too late. Unless you’re one of the clever readers who analysed every detail of this book and probably saw signs early on.

*Side Note: Jay and Amie actually said that if you really pay attention to the details in the book, it gives off little clues on who certain characters are that are still unknown to us or hints of upcoming events.

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Seriously, this book was one big fuuuuuuuck-with-your-mind type of story. It was so hard to put it down because I just didn’t know which direction the story is going.  I don’t know about other people who’ve read this but I didn’t see any of the plot twists happening. Not even a smidge! Maybe I need to reread it again and keep a lookout for those hints I mentioned earlier lol.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Another highly recommended book. If you’re like me who usually only ever reads fantasy fiction, give this one a go. Trust me you won’t regret it and I guarantee you’ll love it enough to want to read Gemina (second book in the Illuminae series)!


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Happy reading, friends! Hope you’re all doing well. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

This was a reaaaally old review (I’m talking years old) that for some unknown reason I never got around to posting. Even this pic from my Instagram is old. Haha. But after a little tweaking here and there, here it is! 😅

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Well apparently I shouldn’t have read this one before reading the rest of the books in the “Hopeless” series. This is how much of a CoHo newbie I am that I didn’t even know that she had book series. I seriously thought all her books were standalone contemporaries…

FindingCinderellaCoverI should’ve checked Goodreads first! Eeep. 😅😅

Anywho — I can’t do much about it now. I already read the book. Haha!

Books that are inspired from, or is a retelling of a fairy tale will always peak my interest. It’s mostly the reason why I decided to start with Finding Cinderella before any of her other books.

The main difference with the classic tale and this modern take is that the protagonist is not “Cinderella” but “Prince Charming” himself — aka Daniel. This is YA fiction and I’d say he’s a pretty typical teen.. with realistic mannerisms and attitude (he actually reminded me of a few guys I used to go to high school with). Picture the cool guy in class who loves to make jokes and who doesn’t seem to be phased by anything — yeah, that’s Daniel… at least on the surface. This is a great example of not to judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). Daniel, is actually a fairly nice, caring person. I loved his relationship with his family and their interactions together. The way they can joke about things with each other and take it lightheartedly, it surprisingly made me laugh out loud.

It’s an enjoyable easy-going read with a steady pace, and I thought the overall story was okay. This is a novella so I wasn’t expecting a deep, long storyline but it could’ve easily have reached that point near the end, unfortunately Daniel and Six’s story wrapped up a little too conveniently for my liking and with I guess you would call “a happily ever after” ending.

All in all, it’s not a bad book to start off with when it comes to Colleen Hoover, but then again… as many people have said all of CoHo’s book are pretty good. She’s not a best selling author for nothing! 😉 I’m looking forward to reading more of her books!

RATING: ♥♥♥½

**EDIT: I just checked Goodreads and this was the first thing that popped up before the synopsis —This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.” 

— Wooo! I don’t feel too badly for reading this now before the other books! 🙌😜

•••



Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover is FREE to read!

🎁 Download your copy now!

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU



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Catch you all next time. Happy reading, guys! Xo

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The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall

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•••

— BLURB —

Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out, the perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet organised and safe existence. A necessity to her. That is until a promotion sends her straight into the presence of her young, super hot playboy billionaire boss and stuck as his right-hand man every waking moment of every single day. Like chalk and cheese, two people with no longing for love or complication this unusual pairing may either be just what she needs in her life or the absolute path to disaster. He is everything she is not, compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with an ability to steamroller over her manicured ice maiden exterior. New love, overwhelming emotion and heartbreak. This tale will take you on a rollercoaster begging for more. Love-able sexy characters and deep emotional topics. Contains some mature, adult content and language.

Book one in The Carrero Series.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

*Please Note: This book contains mature content. 

**Trigger Warning: Please be aware that this book talks about harassment, sexual and physical abuse.

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I was lucky enough to receive an ebook copy of The Carrero Effect from the author (through Voracious Readers Only).

I received it a couple of months back and I’m seriously regretting not having read it then. I could’ve been consumed in the Jake and Emma swoonfest a lot earlier! 😜

But seriously… Where do I start?!

If I didn’t need sleep and.. you know.. go to work.. I would’ve read this in one sitting, it was that addictive!

Jake Carrero is just the sweetest guy! Forget the wealth, the sexy bod and the playboy traits.. this boy had me with his sense of humor! The constant banter between him and Emma is what made this book such a fun and easy read.

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They’re definitely made for each other… and I say that considering… (here it comes) I’m not the biggest fan of Emma.

Don’t get me wrong.. *quickly waves hands* I don’t dislike the chick but she does have some habits that annoyed the shit outta me. I wasn’t a fan of her whining — her CONSTANT whining! Ugh.

She was always thinking or saying one thing (which had me screaming “YESSS! DO IT! YOU GOT THIS, GIRL!”) only to read a second later that she does the exact opposite of what she was thinking. Double ughh!

But I don’t want you guys coming away from my review thinking I hate Emma. No no! There are deep issues as to why Emma behaves and reacts to situations this way. She had a shitty adolescents. Shitty is not even a strong enough word for what Emma had gone through. Crappy mother. A non-existent father. Multiple sexual, mental, emotional and physical abuse (most of which were from craptastic men that her mother brought into their lives at the time). I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone can live and even ‘move’ on from something so life changing, horrendous and deeply scarring.

I should also mention that Jake isn’t Mr. Perfect either. Sure he’s an Italian Adonis but even gods have personality traits that just make you wanna…

He’s got a hot/cold attitude towards Emma (and anyone in the near vicinity…poor office people) whenever things don’t go his way. Should I say typical man?? Hehe I kid, I kid. 😜

He does tend to use his power and wealth to his liking. Yeah, it’s cool when he uses it to go on lavish holidays with Emma and to help her out whenever she comes-a-crying but I couldn’t help but eye-roll (yes.. a major Emma eye-roll) whenever he decides to use it to push her away or to make her do something she feels she has no choice but doing.

(But if you’ve read the book… you’ll know no one can really make Emma do something she reaaaally doesn’t want to do — especially when it comes to Mr. Carrero himself.)

All in all — Emma is a nice, realistic protagonist (a little on the possessive side) but at the end of the day I can’t pick on her whining too much because honestly, I probably would be the same. Thinking one thing but not having the guts to follow through. Especially when a boy is involved. Haha *blushes*

I could do a little less of “drunk” Emma though (Sorry Jake). I found those parts a little lengthy and just plain annoying as it went on. It’s probably the parts I would skip over whenever I decide to reread this again.

Okay. Back to the happy!

I would say the main reason I ended up liking this book is because of Jake and the electric chemistry between him and Emma. You just have to accept that their relationship is one massive roller coaster. Full of banter. Full of arguments. Full of hugs. And a whole lot of sexual tension!

I did see a couple of predictable parts in the plot but it didn’t deter me from reading on.. (if anything I was pretty chuffed about knowing that certain things would happen. I had serious “I knew it! moments. Haha!)

Oh and I almost forgot. There was another thing I did enjoy from this book, something I thought was cute and unique was the exchange of emails between Em and Jake of songs with titles that pretty much say what they’re feeling at the time or what’s on their minds but can’t seem to say in person. Like I said, cute. 😊

After having read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne earlier in the month, I was really keen to read another office romance. This book was just what I wanted!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

•••

The Carrero Effect is in full force! (And it’s only book 1!) I’m completely invested in this series and I can’t wait to read them all. I’ve already started book 2; The Carrero Influence — So look out for a future review on that one. 😄

This is like 50 shades (but less racy) mixed with a bit of You’ve Got Mail type characters and a Two Weeks Notice backdrop. If you like contemporary romance/ chick-lit, give this one a go!


📚 Check out the full series!

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As far as I know, you can only find The Carrero Effect and the entire series on ebook and paperback on Amazon.

I’ve never been big on ebooks and although I have these on my kindle app. I do wish the paperback editions were more easily accessible to purchase. I can only see them for sale on Amazon US, and for someone who lives outside of the US, shipping can be whoa pricey! So I do hope these became available with international retailers in the near future.


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Okay. Another review, done and dusted! Happy reading guys. 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?

 

Scribbler Of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson

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•••

— BLURB —

Romeo and Juliet had the right idea. About dating the enemy that is. They were true to their hearts.

Kaitlin Malone know what it’s like to date the enemy. She was raised to hate the Crutchfields, and absolutely does – until she meets Bram Crutchfield. It turns out he’s a great guy – one she could talk to, share things with…even love. But when Kaitlin gives her heart to Bram, her world spins out of control. Soon the Crutchfields are her friends and she’s a traitor to her own family.

To make things worse ,Bram was raised to hate the Malones, especially Kaitlin’s father – who murdered Bram’s dad. Bram doesn’t know Kaitlin is a Malone. If he did he would hate her, too.

What’s a star-crossed lover to do?

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I read Scribbler of Dreams around this time last year! I know, I know.. this review is long overdue! Good thing it’s a quick read, I was able to reread it again before writing this blog post. 😛

Scribbler of Dreams CoverThis book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The whole family vs family deal definitely plays a big backdrop to the story between “star-crossed” lovers Kaitlin and Bram.

Just like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I found their families to be selfish, annoying jerks who have the saddest reasons as to why they hate one another. I lost count of how many times I either rolled my eyes, sighed or just wanted to speed read to the parts that involved only Kaitlin and Bram. Hehehe.

I don’t know how I feel about Kaitlin discovering who Bram’s family was from early on and keeping it to herself. But then again we’re talking about young love here, and she is a teenage girl who’s dealing with her first love and not wanting to lose it… so… meh. I’ll let this one slide. But the minute I got to the part where she finds out and decides to keep it to herself –  I knew. I knew there’d be trouble up ahead.

I will also say this — I wasn’t expecting the little twist in the end with Kaitlin’s family history though and I did kind of wish that there was more development or… a better lead up to it..? because the minute the “secret” was out that was it. Like literally! I was left thinking “that’s it?!” It was a little underwhelming and the next thing you know Kaitlin and Bram’s story was wrapping up.

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Remember – This is just my opinion. Maybe it’s because I love Mary’s writing that I may have expected a little more with the story development. I did feel the ending was a little too abrupt. But hey, at least it did have a definitive ending. No loose strings or questions asked (which I like and thankful for!) I would’ve just wanted.. oh I dunno a page or two more of Kaitlin and Bram. A page of them working it out and living happily ever after is nowhere near enough. 😉

But like I said earlier, I found this to be a is a nice standalone read that I recommend for anyone who’s short for time, a fan of quick reads, suffering from a reading slump and is not ready to commit to a book series yet, or just a good old fashion fan of contemporary romance. 😄

Oh, and it’s also considered YA fiction but I think this book is young reader (pre-teens) friendly. It’s definitely young love!

This is one of Mary E. Pearson’s earlier works and although I prefer her more recent fantasy fiction books, I still love her style of writing. It’s simple, easy to follow and the story just flows. Whether you’re a fan of Contemporary or YA Fantasy — I strongly recommend you check out Mary’s books (more specifically The Remnant Chronicles)!

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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📚 Read my reviews for Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles!

Book One: The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Book Two: The Heart Of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Book Three (Coming Soon)


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Happy reading, guys! 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

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•••

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 ⚠

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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 ❤❤

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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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Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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— BLURB —

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

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— MY REVIEW —

I got to tell you guys Heir of Fire was my most favourite book so far in the series but after reading Queen of Shadows, I’d have to say they both equally top it now.

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When all the characters finally come and meet each other for the first time in this book, you don’t know how it’s going to go down and you’re completely on the edge of your seat. It’s amazing! I have fallen in love with certain characters in this book whom I didn’t really connect with in Heir of Fire. One example is Manon Blackbeak. I wasn’t big on the story of the witch clans when they were introduced in that book. I thought they just got in the way of the storyline I really wanted to read about at the time (which was the Celaena/ Rowan/ Chaol situation lol) but my opinion did a complete turnaround on the witches in THIS book.

So if you were like me who wasn’t such a big fan, I advise to keep reading. It totally gets a lot better. Manon, her adorable wyvern Abraxos and her thirteen are some of my faves to read about now…and… if all goes the way I hope it will in the next book (Empire of Storms) for Manon and a certain someone *wink wink* then I will be one happy chappy!!

I was a little bit frustrated – annoyed – irritated with the first part of the book though. Where Celaena finally comes back to Adarlan and catches up with Chaol. Ughhh..it totally gave me a headache. It was like they were two completely different people who hated each other (more so than when they first met). I was not a fan! That part of the book crushed so many Celaena/Chaol fans’ hearts! Mine included. 😞😞

Hmm.. come to think of it. I think the whole book was just one big heartbreak concerning those two and knowing it will never be the way it was between them. As much as I love Rowan and them being together now. I did also love Chaol with her. It’s just sad.

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I do however love that Dorian had more of a role in this one. He’s one of my favourite characters and although I couldn’t believe half of the things he had to go through in this book I’m glad it turned out the way it did and now I can’t wait to see him kick some ass in Empire of Storms!

Okay, so here it is. Look forward to reading more about Manon, Dorian (of course more Aelin/ Rowan moments) and the war that’s brewing over the wyrdkeys and the power they possess. The introduction of Aedion and the return of an old “friend” aka Lysandra are 2 other reasons as to why this book is worth the read.

The storyline in Queen of Shadows is definitely getting down to the nitty-gritty end. It’s a lot more serious and more lives are in danger (which of course I am now panicking over).

I’ve come to the realisation that the more characters Sarah J Maas introduces into her books and the more you love them, the more you have to be prepared to lose them! And boy has she introduced so many amazingly lovable characters in this one. *hint, hint* (Lorcan). 🤫

It’s action packed and I guarantee you will fly through it. There’s always something happening – good or bad and you won’t be able to put the book down.

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 RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

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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 Five: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


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

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