Book Review: The Whispering Dark

Title: The Whispering Dark

Author: Kelly Andrew

Pub. Date: October 18, 2022

Pages: 368

Pub: Scholastic Press

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Raven Boys meets Ninth House in the most exciting debut of 2022 — a dark, atmospheric fantasy about a Deaf college student with a peculiar connection to the afterlife.

Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she’s Deaf. So when she’s accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she’s excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won’t accommodate her disability, and a pretentious upperclassman fascinated by Delaney’s unusual talents.

Colton Price died when he was nine years old. Quite impossibly, he woke several weeks later at the feet of a green-eyed little girl. Now, twelve years later, Delaney Meyers-Petrov has stumbled back into his orbit, but Colton’s been ordered to keep far away from the new girl… and the voices she hears calling to her from the shadows.

Delaney wants to keep her distance from Colton — she seems to be the only person on campus who finds him more arrogant than charming — yet after a Godbole student turns up dead, she and Colton are forced to form a tenuous alliance, plummeting down a rabbit-hole of deeply buried university secrets. But Delaney and Colton discover the cost of opening the doors between worlds when they find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy they need to destroy before it tears them — and their forbidden partnership — apart.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Whispering Dark

Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2)

Title: Defend the Dawn

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: September 13, 2022

Pages: 496

Pub: Bloomsbury Children’s

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


To save their kingdom, they must embark on a dangerous journey…

The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.

But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir.

When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship.

This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they seemed to be. . .
Continue reading “Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2)”

Book Review: This Vicious Grace (The Last Finestra #1)

Title: This Vicious Grace

Author: Emily Thiede

Pub. Date: June 28, 2022

Pages: 448

Pub: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!
Continue reading “Book Review: This Vicious Grace (The Last Finestra #1)”

Book Review: Forging Silver into Stars (Forging Silver into Stars #1)

Title: Forging Silver into Stars

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: May 3, 2022

Pages: 560

Pub: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


When ancient magic tests a newfound love, a dark fate beckons . . .

Magic has been banished in the land of Syhl Shallow for as long as best friends Jax and Callyn can remember. They once loved the stories of the powerful magesmiths and mythical scravers who could conjure fire or control ice, but now they’ve learned that magic only leads to danger: magic is what killed Callyn’s parents, leaving her alone to raise her younger sister. Magic never helped Jax, whose leg was crushed in an accident that his father has been punishing him for ever since. Magic won’t save either of them when the tax collector comes calling, threatening to take their homes if they can’t pay what they owe.

Meanwhile, Jax and Callyn are astonished to learn magic has returned to Syhl Shallow — in the form of a magesmith who’s now married to their queen. Now, the people of Syhl Shallow are expected to allow dangerous magic in their midst, and no one is happy about it.

When a stranger rides into town offering Jax and Callyn silver in exchange for holding secret messages for an anti-magic faction, the choice is obvious — even if it means they may be aiding in a plot to destroy their new king. It’s a risk they’re both willing to take. That is, until another visitor arrives: handsome Lord Tycho, the King’s Courier, the man who’s been tasked with discovering who’s conspiring against the throne.

Suddenly, Jax and Callyn find themselves embroiled in a world of shifting alliances, dangerous flirtations, and ancient magic . . . where even the deepest loyalties will be tested.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you so much to Brigid for gifting me an ARC to read, and thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for a honest review.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve read Forging Silver into Stars – I probably should have written my review sooner, but I literally had no words. My whole being was just this –

Read Read The Book GIF - Read Read The Book Melissa Mc Carthy - Discover &  Share GIFs

No, seriously. Anytime I tried to articulate my feelings after finishing, I just wanted to scream and do that wiggle thing we all do when we’re giddy and in love with a book. So many times while reading, I had a stupid smile on my face because I was just so in love and so utterly invested in what was going on. I wasn’t bored for a single moment reading this book – and when I go to the end, all I wanted was the next one.

My first message to Brigid after finishing was legit –

If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that I fell in love with Tycho in A Heart So Fierce and Broken and would die to protect him. He’s baby. Well, it’s been four years since the events of A Vow so Bold and Deadly and Tycho is still baby, but he’s 19 now, and things have changed. Tensions between Syhl Shallow and Emberfall are starting to boil over, lines are being crossed and chances taken. Efforts to bring the two nations together are difficult and are being undermined at every turn.

Tycho is struggling to truly find his place while staying true and loyal to those he cares about. His arc in this book is so good – I am so in love with the direction that Brigid takes in this book. And there’s this scene (which leads to a handful of other scenes) that she didn’t plan for, and it’s 100% one of my favorite moments in the whole book. I could’ve never guessed it would pan out that way, but I’m so glad it did.

There are some slice of life scenes that absolutely melted my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed that Brigid included them. With everything that happens in this book – and it’s a lot – I liked the slightly slower moments, the more emotional ones. With tensions so high and the repercussions potentially dangerous and deadly, seeing these characters just get to breathe and feel…

Y’all there is one moment with Grey that nearly broke me. The way I saw it in my head, the way it came to life – nope, can’t talk about it because I’ll get all caught up in the feels and then I’m just going to have to re-read the book again.

*deep breaths*

I needed to gather myself for a moment lol.

Moving past the softer moments, let’s talk about Jax and Callyn – the main two new editions to this world and Tycho’s life. I loved them. Well, I loved Jax from the beginning. I like Callyn, but due to her history and general unease, she spends a lot of this book making choices that made me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Hard. On one hand, I can wholly understand why she made the choices she made, and I’ll back her every time. On the other hand, she was a dummy lol.  

I just loved how natural it all felt – the friendship between Jax and Callyn – and her little sister Nora (who is utterly delightful and I love her – spicy romances ftw) was just so effortless. I didn’t need convincing that their friendship and feelings were genuine. I didn’t need convincing that the path their relationship takes wasn’t organic. Again, tensions are high, loyalties are being tested and choices have to be made.

I think it was inevitable for things to change, and the way Brigid wrote it was perfect. She executed this all so flawlessly and I loved every minute of it. The introduction of Tycho into the mix just leaves you wanting more and again, loving every minute of it.

And the way Callyn and Tycho describe seeing Tycho the first time is so perfect and explains their personalities so well.

As for Alek – another new character we get to meet – I’m honestly lowkey conflicted. In any other fantasy book, I’d probably consider him the protagonist and root for him. I don’t think he’s necessarily a bad guy, but he goes about things the wrong way. It’ll be interesting to see where Brigid takes his character in the next books.

From the moment this book started – I was hooked. I somehow managed to not inhale it (I blame work and having to sleep at reasonable hours). And while I would have loved to read it in one go, I did like taking my time. The wait for book 2 is already going to be long as shit, as it is. I think it took me a little over two weeks to read the whole thing, and honestly it was perfect. I’m already planning on re-reading it again before release, because I loved it that much.

Brigid put so much into this book and it’s nonstop. From the first page to the last, so much happens and the ending leaves you utterly desperate for more. I’m still kind of dying waiting and wanting more. The ending is a whirlwind of omfg moments that leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you loved the Cursebreakers Series – Rhen, Grey, Lia Mara, Harper and Co. then you’re going to absolutely going to love this next installment. It’s perfectly crafted, the vibe and tone of it is everything I want in an Upper YA fantasy book. The dash of spice Brigid includes is *chef’s kiss* perfect. I loved this book so much and I’m surprised I got through this review. I’m still very much a giddy excited mess that just wants to throw this book at everyone and yell that them to read it. Seriously, get your pre-orders in and dive into this book as soon as you can. You’re going to love it, and then be left desperate for more.

Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)

Title: The War of Two Queens

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: March 14, 2022

Pages: 628

Pub: Blue Box Press

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


From the desperation of golden crowns…

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

And born of mortal flesh…

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way—because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

A great primal power rises…

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear—to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But war is only the beginning. Ancient primal powers have already stirred, revealing the horror of what began eons ago. To end what the Blood Queen has begun, Poppy might have to become what she has been prophesied to be—what she fears the most.

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.
Continue reading “Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)”

Book Review: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2)

Title: A Hunt of Shadows

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: March 1, 2022

Pages: 382

Pub: Silver Wing Press

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The second book in A Trial of Sorcerers is filled with forbidden magic, shadowy intrigue, heart-pounding action, and slow-burn romance.

Eira is now a champion of the Solaris Empire. She’s off to a land she’s only dreamed about. But a nightmare awaits her.

Her sworn enemy has escaped. His allies are powerful and deadly. And Eira finds herself tangled in the dangerous web of the undercity of Risen where the mysterious Court of Shadows and lethal Pillars battle for the fate of the kingdom.

But vengeance has a price. When Eira is captured by her enemies, it’s not only her life, but the lives of her friends, and the man she loves most, at stake. The woman she was won’t be enough to turn the tides churning against her from long before she was born. She’ll have to become something more. She’ll have to love deeper and fight fiercer than ever before.

The only way to kill a legendary champion, will be to become one herself.

Experience Eira’s adventure in the A Trial of Sorcerers series by USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova today, for readers who enjoy young adult, epic fantasy, filled with sorcery, deep friendships, forbidden romance, and tales of faraway lands.

A Hunt of Shadows takes place after the events of A Trial of Sorcerers. Readers should begin with A Trial of Sorcerers before reading A Hunt of Shadows.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to Elise Kova for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I love being a part of her reviewer team, and it was so much fun being back in this world. I highly recommend diving into her Air Awakens Universe – you really won’t be disappointed.

If you’re interested, you can check out my reviews for the Air Awaken Series – here.

As well as my review for the first book in the Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles Series – here.

And ultimately, the first book in this new Air Awakens book – A Trail of Sorcerers here.

I really can’t recommend these books enough, or any of Elise’s other books – The Golden Guard Novellas, The Loom Saga, The Wish Quartet and the Married to Magic Series. You’re really in for a treat.

And even better A Hunt of Shadows is out now, so you don’t have to wait!

But let’s actually jump into why we’re here – why I’m writing my first blog post since November 1, 2021. I know I’ve been MIA – it wasn’t planned, and the longer I went without posting, the harder it was getting back into it.

Elise was kind enough to send me an eARC of this second book in the A Trial of Sorcerer’s Series, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Like I said, I’m a huge fan of this world she’s created and I’m always thrilled to dive back into it. If you’re like me, and needed a little refresher of what happened in the first book, and everything Eira went through, Elise has got you covered! She’s written up a summary of everything that happened in A Trail of Sorcerers and let me tell you – it was so helpful, and jogged my memory just enough that diving into this second book was seamless.

Eira’s journey is really just getting started. She’s still dealing with everything she went through in the first book. She’s pushing people away, getting lost in the need for vengeance and her emotions. She’s reckless and runs headfirst into everything. She’s a bit chaotic and I love it.

Upon arriving on Meru, her choices and actions lead her to secret societies and danger. She meets new people, takes bigger risks and put herself and those she cares about in jeopardy. But that doesn’t stop her.

I love that her friends are there for her – her relationships with them felt real and grounded. I loved that even when they wanted to coddle and protect, they had no problem calling her on her bullshit either. Alyss is amazing, such a sweetheart. She always has Eira’s back, and cares so deeply – she’s definitely the “mom” of the group. Noelle is wonderful, her attitude is so much fun, but I love her fierce protectiveness she has for Eira – especially after some things come to light. She might be snarky, but she’ll stand up for those who need support.

Then there’s Cullen. I was really excited in book 1 to see how his arc was going to play out. I hate to say it, but I’m just a smidge disappointed. The progression of feelings in this book happens so fast, and it made it hard to really buy into it. The appeal of him in the first book was that there was a bit of a rivalry between him and Eira, he was brooding and secretive. I know a lot has happened since then, but he kind of felt like a bit of a different character. I just felt a little underwhelmed by the progression of his feelings in this book.

As for Ferro, he can kick a bag of rocks. I can’t believe that Elise had me at one point kind of in love with this guy. Kudos to her for writing him so well. The reveals that happen surrounding him in this book are pretty good, wasn’t really expecting them. Though, his actions – they sucked, and they’re why he can kick a bag of rocks. Hard. Leading with his pinky toe.

One other little issue I had, was that everything just happened so quickly. I honestly don’t mind fast paced books, and I didn’t necessarily dislike that events were happening quickly. But I kind of wish they’d been drawn out more – especially with everything Eira was getting into. Just like with certain feelings and emotions, everything felt like it was on fast forward. And time does pass in the book – so maybe it’s just the time jumps that made it feel quick. Either way, I wish it had been a little slower. I loved the events that Elise wrote into this book and all the shit she put Eira through. Yeah, that sounds terrible, but I love chaos and drama and figuratively flinging characters off a cliff so they can fight their way back to safety and solid ground.

Overall, this was a good second installment and true to Elise Kova fashion, the ending leaves you dying and desperate for the next book. I don’t know how I’m going to possibly wait, but it really might be time for another Air Awakens Universe reread.

If you read and loved A Trial of Sorcerers then I highly recommend checking out this book, and I’m going to figuratively chuck the first Air Awakens book at you and yell at you to read it. If you know me in real life, then I’m literally going to chuck it at you, because you have no excuse lol.

Update + NaNoWriMo’21 Announcement

Hey y’all!

It’s been a few days, I know. I’m starting to feel pressured to put out content and make it good. I’m reading through books at 2x the speed and I’m not loving them. I don’t know if it’s the speed (which usually isn’t a problem) or my anticipation making my expectations too high, or just the pressure of needing to get content on my blog. But it’s causing me stress.

I get stressed trying to force myself to finish books quickly and get reviews written. I know I don’t retain books on a good day, but it’s getting really bad. I’m also busy with work and life outside of blogging and bookish things, and now with NaNo starting today, something has to give, even if it’s just a little bit. Continue reading “Update + NaNoWriMo’21 Announcement”

3 Books that Hit My Radar #30

I told you two (or three) posts ago that I had quite a few recommendations coming your way!

I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that having a pretty book cross your feed is such a godsend. Then when the synopsis drags you in and you need it right now? It’s the best feeling. And with One-Clicking being entirely too easy and too much power in the hands of a reader, suddenly your Kindle is full of books that you desperately need to read.

I don’t know about you, but my eBook TBR might put my physical one to shame. All these books I recommend to y’all in these posts – I either already own them or will buy them before the month is out. And I get paid on Friday, so…

So, let’s check out these three books –

Wraithwood (The Wraithwood Trilogy #1) – Alyssa Roat

There are few things that will make me buy a book faster than “Arthurian Legend”. I’d be lying if I said that I’d need more to sell me on this book. But it sounds fantastic, and I cannot wait to read it. But seriously? Mansion, estranged uncle, magic and bloodthirsty wizards? Sign me up.

City of Thorns (The Demon Queen Trials #1) – C.N. Crawford

I mean, do I need to say more? Read the synopsis and get back to me. Like, I’m tempted to see if this has an audiobook so I can download it and listen while at work.

Made From Death (The Darkest Queens #1) – Rebecca Grey

Y’all, it sounds like we’re all sleeping on this book. The title alone makes me giddy with anticipation and then you read Because she’s been resurrected with one job to complete. Kill the queens.” And omfg.

Make sure you add them to your TBR’s and if you’ve read them, let me know your thoughts in the comments! And let me know if I’ve convinced you to buy them – I mean, for the covers alone, they should be on shelves. Continue reading “3 Books that Hit My Radar #30”

Book Review: Holiday Hotel (Simona Island #1)

Title: Holiday Hotel

Author: Poppy Minnix

Pub. Date: November 23, 2021

Pages: 246

Pub: City Owl Press

Genre: Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Sometimes, it takes a corset and an island getaway to bounce back from a disastrous breakup.

In the winter chill of New York City, Cozette Fay attempts to turn up the heat with a fun and sexy Ms. Claus roleplay. Unfortunately, her aloof boyfriend is more confused than aroused.

She says fa-la-la to her fizzled relationship and escapes to the tropics for Christmas where she meets Nico, a van-driving beach-hunk who secretly owns the hotel on private Simona Island. He upgrades her room, takes her on adventures, and can’t seem to keep his eyes or his hands off of her despite claiming there’s a non-fraternization policy.

It shouldn’t matter that Nico won’t share anything about himself outside of their tropical snow globe—she’s there to reunite with herself, after all—but the closer they get, the more it seems he may be the Santa to her Mrs. Clause all year round.

Readers who enjoy Christmas with You from Tracy Alverez or The One Night Stand Before Christmas from Jana Aston would enjoy Holiday Hotel.
Continue reading “Book Review: Holiday Hotel (Simona Island #1)”