A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

Title: A Curse of Ash and Ember
Author: 
Jo Spurrier
Series Name: 
Tales of the Blackbone Witches
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 24th, 2018
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers Australia
Rating:

A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

So to be completely honest I didn’t love the writing. It was kinda bland but the plot made up for it. The book didn’t have a huge amount of world building as there seemed to be more of a focus on plot. So we didn’t get a tonne of background except in regard to the Aleida.
While the plot was interesting there were also a fair few places where the book felt a bit slow.
I also didn’t like the action scenes. They were kinda hard to understand which took away from the whole engaging aspect of an action scene.

The plot was my favourite aspect of the book. It was engaging and interesting. There was a lot of building up to the next plot point which kept me interested even when the book was a bit slow.

The two major characters of the book were basically opposite. One was a bit 1 dimensional and the other was interesting and thought out.
Dee who is our main character was the one that felt very 1 dimensional. Besides the arsehole of a step father and a little bit about her mother & fathers story we didn’t really get that much about Dee herself. She felt quite flat and that made it difficult to connect with her and a main character.
Aleida had a lot more background which gave her a lot more substance than Dee had in the story. I also found Aleida really interesting which helped keep me interested when reading.

So overall the book was a bit all over the place. While I enjoyed some aspects there were a fair few things that I didn’t enjoy. I enjoyed the plot and Aleida but didn’t particularly care for the main character and the writing was a bit bland. I may still continue on with the series as I am interested to see where the story goes & also to learn more about Aleida.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Lizaxx1
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Books I DNFd in 2018

So it is nearly the end of 2018! So I’m going to be doing a series here & on my youtube channel discussing the best books I read in 2018, the books I DNFd in 2018, the worst books I read in 2018 & what I am anticipating in 2019! There may be more to this series but that is my current plan!

This year I really got into DNFing books more. I have accepted the fact that not all books are for me and there is no point wasting my time with something I don’t enjoy.

I am going to split this into 3 sections:
1. Books I DNFd because it just wasn’t for me
2. Books I DNFd but will try again in a different format
3. Books I DNFd because I strongly disliked them or something about them

So lets get into it!

Books I DNFd because it just wasn’t for me

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This book… Okay, so don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed book 1. I of course had problems with it, mainly the Insta Love based romance. But I was able to ignore that and focus on the plot and the really unique world. HOWEVER, this book jumps straight in heavy on the romance based side of things and I just couldn’t do it!


The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui. T Sutherland

So this one is a middle grade and don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a lot of middle grades but some, like this one is simply too young feeling for me. I felt like I was reading a kids book and I just couldn’t get into it.

Books I DNFd but will try again in a different format

The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

This one is the 4th book in The Darkest Minds series. I was a little hesitant with this one as it’s always iffy when an author releases another book in a series YEARS after what we all thought was the finale’s publication. In this case the 3rd book in the series, In the Afterlight, was a 2014 release and The Darkest Legacy releases in 2018.
Honestly I didn’t get far enough into this book to really tell if it was good or bad. The reason I DNFd was I think the format. I had recently reread the original trilogy via audiobook and decided to continue on that path for this book too. I preferred the audiobooks for the other books as for some reason The Darkest Minds books always taken me twice as long to read as any other book. So the audiobooks were great but for The Darkest Legacy I just couldn’t get into it. I may try again with the physical book at some point but it more than likely won’t be soon as it just isn’t a top priority. The trilogy feels finished for me and this 4th book just feels like an unnecessary add on.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Okay, so this wasn’t really a DNF but I did start it and not finish, so it’s making the list.
Basically I bought this book because it was so hyped leading up to the release. I added this book to a ReadAThon TBR and read the 1st chapter which was the epilogue. I wasn’t really intrigued so I had a look at some reviews. I started seeing a lot of reviews that claimed it was slow and boring. At the time I was in a reading slump and trying to get out and something that a lot of people were saying was slow was not something I wanted to put myself through when trying to get out of the slump. So I put it down. I have heard good things about the audiobook, so I will give it a go at some point.

Books I DNFd because I strongly disliked them of something about them

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

I just could not do it! I DNFd this book at 52%. I was half way through the book and basically NOTHING interesting had happened. We were just following this kid going to school. I’m all for a magical school but it starts getting boring after a while. I also remember this book having basically no world building. I am aware that this is set in the same world as one of her other series that was published ages ago but that doesn’t mean that there should be no world building! If it was a sequel I would get the lack of explanation but not with a companion that is set before the events of the original series. Just give me something!
You can find my full DNF Review HERE!

The Seer’s Curse by J.J. Faulks

Okay, so this book overall was a bit dull and boring but my main issue with it was how similar it was to other books I had already read. Basically we follow this girl that from the time that she is born everything bad that happens in that town she is blamed for. Sound familiar? That is because that is how The Trials of Morrigan Crow starts, which is a book I read and didn’t really care for.
You can find my full spoiler free DNF Review HERE.

A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

This one I was just confused. This is a Mystery book that I received from NetGalley and I didn’t even review it because I only read about 20% and the whole time I was confused so didn’t feel like I had enough thoughts to actually review it. Basically you are thrown straight in and there a heap of names being thrown around, places being introduced and it all hit just so quickly that you don’t even have time to process anything. So yes, I was confused and gave up very early.


The Golden Fountain by Zuheb Alep

This is a book that I had never heard of before seeing this beautiful cover on NetGalley. The synopsis sounded promising so I requested it and was approved. This book was just bad though. This book had basically no world building except that it is parallel to our own world. There is constant action and honestly it just doesn’t make sense. It feels like it is just thrown all together purely for the action factor but none of it adds up. The constant action also leads to a lack of any character development, background info or anything that would make me connect with the book and care about what is going on. There are tonnes of characters! That many that you really can’t keep track of who the hell is who! Also the similarities to other books or movies was just too much for me to see it as inspiration and not copying the idea from other VERY well known franchises like Harry Potter & Pirates of the Caribbean.
This one I have a full DNF Review for which you can find HERE.

Lirael by Garth Nix

Honestly I don’t even really know why I continued on to this book when I didn’t enjoy the first book in the series that much. This book is the ‘sequel’ to Sabriel however I see it more of a companion as it is set years later and following completely new main characters. My main issue with these books were a lack of connection to the characters. The characters fell flat for me and that lead to me not really caring for them or what happens to them. These books are very heavy on the world building which I usually love but there also needs to be a balance with the other aspects of the book not just a tonne of details on this really unique and thought out world. Like I said I didn’t enjoy the first book and it just went further down hill when you are thrown into a completely different year with new characters after you were just starting to get a feel for the undeveloped characters of the first book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

This book broke a record for me. Least amount of pages read before DNFing. I’m pretty sure I read 1 chapter, maybe 2? I can’t remember but it was very few pages, I know that much. This book follows a plus size main character, which is great! I love some plus size rep HOWEVER this was not executed well at all. So we find out she is plus size very early in, like the first or second page. That’s cool, we get that she is plus size now, awesome. However after that, it is mentioned once or twice every damn page! I just couldn’t put up with it! Her every second thought was either food or the fact that she is plus size! Like we get it! It got so damn monotonous so quickly!
Honestly I am so glad I didn’t bother with this book after reading some reviews. I highly recommend checking out THIS review on Goodreads if you are curious about how this book progresses.

Twice Dead by Caitlin Seal

My main issue with this book was just a lack of, well, everything. The world wasn’t explained, at all. The magic system wasn’t explained, at all. The background as to why everyone fears necromancy was barely touched on. The main character was bland and undeveloped. Honestly I just didn’t care because everything was so poorly introduced that I felt like I started reading from the middle of the book and couldn’t form a connection or understanding with anything.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

My issue with this one was mainly the writing. For one thing this is another one that just felt too young for me but also the slang and deliberate incorrect spelling to represent the main characters lack of education was just annoying to read. You are also kinda thrown in without a tonne of building. I also found most of the characters flat which didn’t help my interest in the book.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I’m not even going to explain this one. I am just going to link to my DNF review of this that I wrote at 2:30 in the morning after DNFing and is honestly one of my favourite reviews. Just go read it HERE.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Lizaxx1
PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
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