The Mage Heir by Kathryn Sommerlot – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Mage Heir
Kathryn Sommerlot
Series Name: The Life Siphon
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 15th, 2018
Pages: 367 (eBook)
Publishers: Not sure as Goodreads doesn’t say and Kathryn doesn’t mention it in her email.
3 star

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Traitor: that’s what Tatsu is now. On the run from both Runon and Chayd, Tatsu and Yudai’s only hope for survival is to disappear into the wilds. However, when the siphon’s deadly curse returns, they have no choice but to travel into the desert kingdom of Joesar in search of a cure.

Battling the unforgiving elements of the sands, Tatsu starts to realize that the path towards destroying the siphon may claim Yudai’s life. Time is running out as Nota’s fury—and the siphon’s hunger—begin to spiral wildly beyond their control.

As their options slowly fall away, the only thing Tatsu and Yudai can count on is each other.


You can find my spoiler free review of The Life Siphon (Book 1) HERE!

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I really enjoy the covers of these books. They are simple but also beautiful. I love the colour scheme of both and I bet they would look awesome together on a shelf (I have no idea if there even is physical copies though). I also like how they subtly reference the book with the design on the cover.

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One of my main complaints from book 1 was that it was predictable but I don’t think that was the case with this one. I did not directly predict any of the plot twists in this one I don’t think.

My main complaint about this book is I feel like it was a bit slow and uneventful at the beginning. It has been a while since I read The Life Siphon and I did have a bit of a struggle getting into this one.  It definitely picked up in the last 30% of the book. But the rest I was kinda struggling.  I honestly felt like DNFing for a little bit there, but I stuck through and I don’t regret it as it was enjoyable in the end.

The world building is still lacking! I mentioned this in my review for The Life Siphon too. There needs to be more explanation, more description and more depth to the world.

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As I said above, it was slow in the beginning but the plot at the end of the book was alright. It felt slightly rushed and I feel like that is because everything at the start is dragged out and then in the last 20% everything is rushed through and then the book is over. The start of the book could have been condensed a bit and then the actual major parts could have been fleshed out a little more.

I do have another problem but it’s hard to describe. I kinda feel like everything worked out in the end. Which is great if you love the characters and want them to all be happy but it kinda made it predictable in the fact that when there is a twist you guess that it is going to work out well in the end because everything seems to work out well in the end. Like there is no real devastation or sadness to keep your emotions on the edge. I hope that makes sense as I have no other way to describe it.

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Firstly my favourite thing about the book is the diversity! There are gay (or maybe bisexual) characters in this book. I loved that in this world that felt completely fine. Their friends were just like cool, he is your boyfriend. There was no coming out, no questioning and no issues. It was just normal and I loved that.

Tatsu was enjoyable most of the time. He was a bit moody, but not everyone is perfect. He was caring and loyal to his friend, so that was good. Yudai was all over the place for most of this book. Sometimes he was enjoyable and other times I just didn’t care at all. I don’t know what exactly it was, but just sometimes how he acted annoyed me.

Alesh was kinda bossy but I do love how protective she is with Ral. Ral I still don’t understand. The ability type thing that she has was not explained in the slightest! Jotin was kinda meh to me. He didn’t feel fleshed out at all. I need more from him, he just kinda felt like a robot with no real emotion or life.

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I feel like this book was a little underwhelming. The world building could have been a lot better and the character development was lacking. The book was also slow for most of it which was disappointing. The first book was definitely better,  more entertaining and gripping for me.

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I was sent a copy of this book from Kathryn Sommerlot! So thanks so much to her for sending the eARC my way and giving me this opportunity!

The books are available on Kindle Unlimited but are also really cheap on Amazon! You can find The Life Siphon HERE & The Mage Heir HERE! The links will be for the Australian Amazon Site.

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March 2018 Duodecathon TBR

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Here is my TBR for the Duodecathon. So if you don’t know the duodecathon is a monthly ReadAThon. There are challenges for this ReadAThon but the cool thing about this one is you have the option to pick from 12 challenges. So there are 12 challenges for the 12 months of the year and the idea is that you participate each month, selecting a new challenge so that by the end of the year you have completed all the 12 challenges!

You can find their Duodecathon Goodreads page HERE.


Read 1,200 pages
Read the second book in a series
A book about a villain/antihero
A book published the year you were born
A 2018 bestseller
An award winning book
A book with multiple points of view
A book with antonyms in the title
A banned book
A book with a great first line
A “high school” book you haven’t read
A book recommended by someone in the Duodecathon group

The ones in bold I have already completed! This month I will be doing the challenge A 2018 Best Seller

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I have chosen all books with Multi POV for this week! If I finish these then I will just pick up something random!

So I have chosen 3 audiobooks & 3 physical books. I have been in on an audiobook high, so I decided to continue that during this ReadAThon.

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The YA Chronicles Exclusive Obsidio Box (Goodies Only) Unboxing

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Okay, so as many of you know, I chose to stop purchasing The YA Chronicles as it was no longer worth the money for me. However, when they announced an Obsidio box, I had to purchase. So I’m going to break down what I got, what I liked, disliked and whether it was worth it or not!

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The YA Chronicles is based in Australia. They mostly do monthly subscription boxes but occasionally do these exclusive boxes.

Here is the link to their website!

It says on the website that there is international shipping, so I’m assuming they ship everywhere, so I’m sorry if they don’t ship to your country!

I will only be posting costing in AUD, so if you want to know what it would cost in your country then you can go here to convert it.

Cost of the Box: $39.99 AUD
Shipping to Aus and NZ: $9.99 AUD (this includes tracking)
Shipping internationally: $24.99 AUD (this includes tracking)

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As always, I will write under each photo what is written on the description card that you get in the box. I’m also going to add pricing or a guess at pricing so we can see if the box is worth the price tag!


Galaxy Booksleeve


Included is a gorgeous custom galaxy booksleeve created by Between the Pages. It’s so large it’ll fit Obsidio

Thoughts & Pricing

Okay, so even though it says that it will fit Obsidio, it won’t. I don’t have Obsidio yet as it is coming in the mail. But it won’t fit Illuminae & Gemina. It is so short! I’ll leave a pic below.
As for the pricing, I can’t find any book sleeves on their website. On Etsy most basic book sleeves like this are usually about $20


</error> Candle


The Book Hangover Store has created an amazing 4oz </error> candle for the end of the series. It smells of Vanilla, Black Pepper, Tobacco & Patchouli. 

Thoughts and Pricing

I love candles so it couldn’t go wrong adding candles to boxes. This one claims to smell of Vanilla, Peppercorn, Tobacco & Patchouli but I can only really smell Patchouli with a hint of Vanilla. I can’t smell pepper or tobacco at all.
This is an exclusive, so this exact candle isn’t available but their 4oz candles are $12 



Charmed Fiction on Etsy has put together these super cute, custom bracelet pieces just for you! Finished the book but not ready to let the series go? Wear this gorgeous thing around to keep the space magic alive. 

Thoughts and Pricing

So I was really disappointed with this. As you can see one of the charms have broken already. I only put it on and took it all off and it broke off. It was only attached with a paper thin piece of metal. So I have no idea how they thought that was going to last any length of time?!
Pricing for Charmed Fiction’s bracelets seems to vary depending on the number of charms and their size. So as this one only has 2 charms I’m going with $12.80. Again this is an exclusive, so it isn’t available on their store.

Paper Flower


A Little Touch of Books has created an amazing death blooms paper flower, made from pages of the Illuminae books and splattered in the blood of these characters enemies. 

Thoughts and Pricing

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this or where I can even put it as I feel like it will just get blown of my bookshelves by my aircon. But I do think it’s pretty cool.
Again this item isn’t actually for sale on their store. However, you can by paper flowers on Etsy for about $5 so that will do.

Tarot Cards

Last, Megan Jeong Books on Instagram has spent the last few months bringing the core cast to life in this brilliant Tarot card set. Find Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Asha, Rhys, and AIDAN in your pack.

Okay, so these don’t actually have the names on them they just say random words that relate to the character, but I think I know who is who!
Thinker = Kady
Flyer = Ezra
Fighter = Hanna
Joker = Nik
Heeler = Asha
Solider = Rhys
Power = AIDAN
The names Asha & Rhys aren’t familiar to me, so I am assuming they are from Obsidio. But I can guess which cards they are obviously.
As for pricing, this item again is not on their store. Based on the pricing of the prints she sells and the difference in size (as these are a lot smaller than the prints) I’m going to guess at $3 a card. So $3 x 7 cards = $21

The Spoiler Card


I forgot to take a pic of the bookmark but it has the same design as this spoiler card and you can see it in the overview of all the items.

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As this box didn’t contain the book I only paid $43.95 (including shipping within Aus).
Using the pricing underneath each picture it comes to a total value of $70.80. This is only a guess as most of the items aren’t available for individual sale. However, I’m pretty happy with the value of this box. Especially compared to the boxes I priced before I decided to stop purchasing (most of those were only just breaking even with how much I paid for them.)
I do like all the items in this book. The book sleeve, even though it won’t fit the Illuminae files books is still an alright book sleeve. It is not my favourite design, but it is okay. The bracelet, yes I am disappointed that it broke so easily but I’m not pissed off as I was going to rip off that charm anyway as I hate those fake glass looking charms. The candle smells alright and I’ll be able to use it in Bookstagram photos. The paper flower I probably won’t have much use of and I give it a week before it is wrecked by either accident or one of my animals. Lastly, the tarot cards, again I don’t know what I will do with them as I don’t have room to lay them all out on my shelves and they are too small to go on a wall. So they will probably only get used for Bookstagram photos as I do really like the design itself.

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What do you think of the items that came in this box? Did you get this box? Would you have liked to?
Who is keen for Obsidio!!!???



Winter Bookish Bingo Wrap Up & Spring Bookish Bingo Possible Reads

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So the Winter Bookish Bingo is over and the Spring Bookish Bingo has started! So here is my Winter Bookish Bingo Wrap Up.

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Red Cover: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Spinoff: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Black Author: Did Not Complete
Buddy Read: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
2018 Debut: Everless by Sara Holland

Death: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Winter Release: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Sci- Fi: Fade-Out by Patrick Tilley
Light Blue Cover: Dreadnought by April Daniels
Number in Title: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardguo

2017 Release you missed: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Green Cover: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
LGBT+: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Snow or Ice on the Cover: The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie

Friend’s Fave: Did not complete
Fae, Faerie or Fair Folk: Did not complete
Trees on Cover: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Wintry Title: The Third Day: The Frost by John Marsden
Music Themes: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Cold Setting: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Romance: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Book was a gift: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Holiday Theme: Did not complete
Villainous: Did not complete 

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*The ones I have read already this month are in bold.*

Ocean Theme: I have no idea for this one! I can’t even find a decent list for ideas! So if you have any ideas then let me know.
Mythology: Eon by Alison Goodman
Part of a Series: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Pink Cover: Again no idea, I cant’ find a pink book that doesn’t look like a contemporary/romance
Made into a movie: How to train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Historical Fiction: That Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
White Cover: American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Spring Release: The Mage Heir by Kathryn Sommerlot
New To You Author: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Retelling: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Unlikeable Main Character: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Thriller: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Glenister
Intersectional Diversity: Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee
Animal on Cover: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Aussie Author: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
2018 Debut: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Epistolary: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Family: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Witches: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Flowers on the Cover: Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
Set in another Country: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
LGBT+: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Multi POV: Everlife by Gena Showalter
Second Chance: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

*Obviously, I’m not sure if these books actually match the challenges. As I just googled all of them.*

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Hazel Wood
Melissa Albert
Series Name: The Hazel Wood
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 8th, 2018
Pages: 355 (Paperback)
Publishers: Penguin
3 and a half star

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. 

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .


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I actually love this cover! It looks a lot better in person than in the image above. As they used a combination of matte & shiny coating on the cover. The shiny parts are all the creases and details in the leaves. It makes it really pretty but also still creepy as hell.

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I enjoyed the writing of this book but it wasn’t anything overly special. It was creepy but also kinda slow until the last 30%. However, it did keep me hooked! I had trouble putting it down.

This is kinda random but I strongly disliked the last couple chapters of this book. After everything happens and Alice is back in the real world she becomes so dull. I don’t like her anyway (see the characters section) but it went from a fleshed out character in most of the book to this meh character with no motivation, thoughts, cares or absolutely anything. It was like reading from the POV of a stick. I know that it says that afterwards she may not be the same, but if the whole next book is written like those last chapters, I will be DNFing it real quick. I had such a struggle getting through those last pages of this book.

This book suffered from the ‘absent parents’ trope which is seriously overdone. Alice’s mother was kidnapped, so yeah that one I didn’t mind but the only other person from the human world had parents that apparently didn’t give a damn at all. They didn’t even try and get the police to search for him when he ‘went missing/ran away’.

I really enjoyed the fairytales in this book! Even though we didn’t really get them in full they were interesting. I discovered after reading that she is going to come out with a book of fairytales (same idea as The Tales of Beedle the Bard from J.K. Rowling & Tales of the Peculiar from Ransom Riggs). I’m more excited for the ‘Tales from the Hinterland’ to come out than I am about the second book in this series honestly.

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The plot was, for the most part, interesting. However, there were some predictable parts and most of the time the things I predicted were the big plot twists. So that was a little annoying. Also, the middle of the book was a tad slow. Things happened, but they happened within one page and the rest of the chapter was just meh.

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The main character irritated the shit out of me. I don’t know if she was meant to be an ‘unlikable main character’ but holy crap I didn’t like her. She was selfish as hell and didn’t really give a damn about anything but herself and her mother (and another character later on).
She was annoyingly stubborn and would snap at Finch for basically no reason. She would also think about hurting or killing people all the time when they were doing perfectly normal things that she didn’t happen to like. Then there was the time that she ran them off the road and nearly ploughed into the trees because she was pissed at herself. There was also the times when she was extremely judgemental! It was mentioned many times that the people in The Hazel Wood and The Halfway Wood may have mental problems due to what they went through in The Hazel Wood & The Half Way Wood. So it’s not like she didn’t know but good damn was she judging those people so hard because they may not have been up to her standard! Basically, if someone didn’t act the same as she did then they weren’t good enough for her.  I know her anger played a part in the story later on but it annoyed me a tonne! Like, stop being a bitch!
It also annoyed me that she barely ever called her mother ‘Mum’… It was always ‘Ella’. I would understand if she and her mother weren’t close but Alice basically didn’t know how to survive without Ella, so there really wasn’t any reason not to call her ‘Mum’.
*My above statement does alter later in the story after a plot twist, but for the most part it is true!*

Finch was also a character I didn’t love. A lot of his actions annoyed me, but even more, I was annoyed at how Alice reacts to the things that he did. Also there not even a relationship thing that they had was just weird. At the start he was made out to be this kinda creepy, won’t leave me alone type guy and the next thing she is confused about what they were and whether she thought of him as a friend. Then he is risking his life to help her and she is still being a bitch to him and on multiple occasions wants to leave him behind but ‘he is all I have’… So he stays.
He was also a very undeveloped character we know nothing about him except he is rich, black and has parents that don’t care at all.. But knowing that Alice never seemed to give a damn about actually getting to know him, so that is why the reader didn’t get to know him either.
Also another thing with Finch, apparently he is a POC. This is never stated in the many times that Alice describes him, but he is. There is only one point when this is even vaguely mentioned (that I could find) and that is when they run into a cop that Alice has a go at and he makes a comment along the lines of ‘do you think I would get away with talking to a cop like that’.. So yeah, apparently he is POC. But if you missed it in that scene you would have no idea.

Most of the other characters were just meh or didn’t have enough page time for me to really care about and form an opinion of them. Except for Janet, she was actually my favourite character! She had common sense, she was kind and tried to help out other people. Oh, and she is either bisexual or lesbian or something in the LGBTQIAP+ realm. It’s never stated but she has a girlfriend and talks about her love for another woman in her past.

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I enjoyed the writing and the plot of this book but the characters were a real let down. I only liked one character out of the many that were in this book.. The fairytales were creepy and interesting and were probably my favourite part. Other than that, I enjoyed myself reading it but I had a few issues with this one.

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Everlife by Gena Showalter – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Everlife
Gena Showalter
Series Name: Everlife
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 27th, 2018
Pages: 506 (Paperback)
Publishers: Harlequin Teen
3 star

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At seventeen years old, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood had to make the ultimate choice—where to live after she died. Loyalty to her selected realm has not wavered…until now. She is out of time. Sacrifices must be made, and a terrible price must be paid. But is she too late?

As the Everlife descends into darkness, a single truth becomes clear: Troika and Myriad must unite—or perish. In order to bring sworn enemies together, Ten must enter forbidden territory…and destroy the powerful Prince of Ravens. But there’s only one way inside—bonding with Killian Flynn, a deadly rival who sets her blood aflame.

When nothing goes as planned and betrayal leads to the edge of utter defeat, Ten and Killian will have to rebuild trust from the ashes of their hearts. Victory seems impossible, the odds stacked against them. In the end, how far will they be willing to go for the sake of their realms and the Everlife?


You can find my review of Firstlife & Lifeblood by clicking the names. These reviews were written around a year ago, so don’t judge!

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I really like the cover of these books. The simple hour glass with Myriad & Troika displayed inside. This one I think shows Myriad as it looks like a brighter version of Myriad from the front cover of Firstlife, the first book in the series.

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I said in my earlier reviews that Gena Showalters writing was alright, but in this one not so much! You can definitely tell she is an Adult Paranormal Romance writer. Sometimes it is a little too much for me. I am not a romance reader at all and I generally don’t like fantasy books that have a tonne of romance or if the romance overtakes the plot. In the last two books, I was able to ignore the excessive romance and focus on the world and plot. In this one, it was a lot harder to ignore. Especially when you are reading from Killians POV. In the last half of the book during Killians POV, if he doesn’t mention his love, worry or anything else about Ten once, it was mentioned 5 or 6 times PER PAGE!!! It was so over the top and it was infuriating! We get it, he loves her!!!
Seriously, here are some quotes from a double page spread towards the end.
“She’s so strong, so determined”
“Seeing her weakened like this hurts me”
“Before my wife is harmed irreparably”
“I can help Ten without compromising our goals”
“Ours. Not just hers. I’m in it to win it.”
“My heart wants to jump out from behind my ribcage and rest at Ten’s feet.”
“I will save her, and if need be, I will not be nice about it”
“Mess with Ten, suffer”
“I am Ten’s man”
Every second thing he thinks is about Ten and if he said ‘I am Ten’s man’ one more time I would have thrown the book across the room!

Ten’s POV was a lot better than Killian. Even though she mentions him occasionally, it isn’t excessive and always has a reason for thinking about him.

I also wanted to talk about the sexual scenes/discussions that occur. The writing on those occasions was honestly cringe-worthy. Also, can we talk about that they have sex on a rock in the middle of a forest in Many Ends where anyone could be around and while they are meant to be saving the people trapped in Many Ends?!
Anyway, some of the descriptions in this book are not appropriate to a YA book, at all! I was even like, you have gotta be kidding me’ and I am a 20! Also if Ten referred to her reactions to Killian as ‘purr’ or ‘mewl’ one more time I was going to lose my shit.
Also, those constant corny compliments were just too annoying!

Let me share some more quotes, shall I…
(These quotes aren’t just all from that particular sex scene either)
“I can touch you now, why don’t you get on your knees and drink me down, baby.”
‘I mewl and purr as I writhe into his touch’
“I’d say you are too good tae be true, but I’d rather spend my time enjoyin’ you”
“Maybe I need to have an X inked over my heart. X marks the spot, and X stands for the numeral Ten.”
“Seems I’ve been buryin’ my treasure in the wrong places. But that’s about to change, yeah?”
‘New mewls leave me..’
‘When he claims me as his own…’

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The plot was predictable and unrealistic.

This bit may be kinda spoilery, so be warned.

I know this is a fantasy book so realistic is the last thing I should be thinking of. But the fact that absolutely everything works out, in the end, is annoying. Everyone that dies comes back, everything works out as planned and everyone is happy! Oh and lets not forget that basic every character has a perfect and cute relationship in the end.. So yes unrealistic is the only way I can explain it.

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So I have already touched on Killian’s obsession. But besides that, he isn’t a bad character. There is a lot of development with his character over the book due to something that happens at the beginning of the book. So that was enjoyable to read.

Ten is an awesome character for the most part. She is determined, loyal and sassy. but she was also kinda flat and typical as a character! ‘The perfect girl’.

As for the other characters, I have nothing to say. I didn’t really have any connection with any of them and they were undeveloped.

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Overall I was disappointed. I enjoyed Firstlife & Lifeblood a lot, it was over a year ago, so  I don’t know if this one is actually a lot worse than the first two or whether I judge differently now. But either way, this did not meet my expectations.

The writing was kinda bad, the romance was irritating, the sex scenes were cringy as hell and I wish we didn’t have Killians POV at all. I would have been okay with just Tens. The plot was predictable and just meh. The characters were typical and the side characters were undeveloped. I wanted so much more from this book!

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I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Harlequin Teen NetGalley for this opportunity.

I received an eARC, but I also purchased a paperback copy of this book for myself as I thought I was going to love it and wanted to complete the set. All the quotes were taken from the finished copy, not the ARC.

You can purchase this book at any of the below links!

Harlequin Aus
eBook & Paperback

Paperback  /  Hardback

Book Depository

Amazon (Aus)
Kindle  /  Hardback  /  Paperback  /  Audible


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#BecauseDragonsRAT & #AYearAThon TBR

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So this will be the month of ReadAThons!

#BecauseDragonsRAT crosses over with #AYearAThon so I decided to just do one TBR.

#BecauseDragonsRAT & #AYearAThon goes from midnight on the 5th till 11:59pm on the 11th of March. 

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1. Read a blue fantasy book
2. Read a fantasy book that takes place on, in, or underwater
3. Read a debut fantasy novel
4. Read a fantasy book that features war
5. Read a fantasy book with dragons


Theme: Retellings (of any kind)
Challenge: Marathon a series

I won’t be able to marathon a series as with the 5 challenges for BecasueDragons the books just won’t fit. But I will read a retelling.

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1. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
3. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
4. Armada by Ernest Cline
5. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Retelling –  Batman: Nightwalker

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Well, that is my TBR for #BecauseDragonsRAT! Who else is participating!?