A DNF and an Excerpt

Today’s post was supposed be a full review of Garth Nix’s Angel Mage, but unfortunately, I had to DNF it. So, instead I’ll be giving you two mini reviews – one, my thoughts on Angel Mage and two, my thoughts on the excerpt from Havenfall, Sara Holland’s 2020 release.

It works out kind of well, since I wasn’t sure if was going to dedicate a whole post to Havenfall. But, let’s get on into the mini reviews.

angel mageTitle: Angel Mage

Author: Garth Nix

Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Rating: DNF at page 133

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .


This will be spoiler free.

I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about the characters, the world, the conflict – any of it. I wasn’t a fan of the writing style, I didn’t understand exactly what was going on. It was info-dumpy and dense and heavy and just boring. 130 pages in and nothing was happening, the story was still being set up and I lost interest. I tried to force myself to give the book another 100 pages, to see if it would pick up, but you know what, I have too many other things to read. I’m not going to sit here and legit force myself to read a book that holds no interest.

This was marketed to me as “Angels meet the Three Musketeers” and I just want to know where? Maybe if I kept reading, it would have made sense. This was my first Garth Nix book and honestly, I don’t think I’m missing anything.

And the fact that there is no map in the front of the ARC copy made it all the more difficult to even picture this world. This book just wasn’t for me and that’s fine.

havenfallTitle: Havenfall

Author: Sara Holland

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: TBD

Maddie Morrow lives for her summers at the Inn at Havenfall, hidden up in the mountains of Colorado. The inn is the only place where she gets to see the boy she loves, Brekken and it provides an escape from her real life, which consists of endless mind-numbing days at high school . . . and visits to the local prison where her mother sits on Death Row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother.

But the inn is much more than it appears. The manicured gardens, Mirror Lake, and even the building itself hold a tantalizing power, a magic meant to protect all who seek refuge and peace. Maddie’s uncle runs the inn, guardian of the gateways to the hidden worlds that converge in the tunnels, and she dreams of one day taking it over.

But this summer, everything is going wrong. Maddie almost gets run over by an alluring new staffer, Taya, her relationship with handsome Brekken becomes complicated, and then the impossible happens: a dead body is discovered, shattering the inn’s sanctity. As questions mount over who’s responsible, Maddie realizes even greater dangers face them all.

With everything she loves at stake, Maddie must confront startling truths about the secrets lurking beneath Havenfall, and within herself.


This will be a spoiler free review. I downloaded the Excerpt off of NetGalley (as I’m writing this, it’s currently available under READ NOW).

I don’t usually read excerpts because they often make me super excited for a book and then I have to impatiently wait, but I figured, why not, I’m curious. While, I’m not desperately dying to get my hands on this book, I’m excited for it. It sounds really good and the concepts really cool. The excerpt was engaging enough to hook me, and this is why I don’t normally read them.

I’m pretty sure I could have sat on my couch and read the book in one sitting if it had been available.

I’m looking forward to Havenfall. I was a big fan of Everless with Eevermore falling a bit short, but I’m definitely going to be picking up her new book when it comes out!

Let me know if you’ve read Angel Mage and what your thoughts were. As of right now, I don’t intend on ever trying to finish it, but maybe you can change my mind. Also, let me know if you’re going to read Havenfall when it comes out next year!

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