Mooncakes: Vol 1 by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Mooncakes: Volume 1
Author: Suzanne Walker (Author) & Wendy Xu (Artist)
Genre: YA Diverse Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 256 (paperback)
Publishers: Lion Forge
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

So, I have never reviewed a Graphic Novel, so this will be a new experience! This won’t be following my usual format and also I won’t talk much about the plot as I don’t want to give anything away when this is a short story and I don’t want to spoil!

Firstly, the artwork is amazing! It’s cute, colourful & detailed and I really enjoyed the art! I will definitely be checking out other Graphic Novels that this artist has been apart of!

Next we have the diversity! We have a Queer Chinese-American Witch that also wears a hearing aid. Then we have Queer Chinese-American They/Them character! Also we have 2 Queer grandmothers in an awesome relationship, and who are also kinda badass! I love how much diversity was featured in such a short story!

Lastly, the story itself was really fun too! It has an interesting world, awesome characters & an unpredictable plot! I didn’t really know what to expect with this Graphic Novel as I hadn’t seen any information about it except that it was awesome, so it was fun to discover the interesting paranormal world that is in this story!

Thank you to NetGalley & Lion Forge for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

Book Depository

Booktopia

Amazon Australia

Have you had the opportunity to read this one yet?
Did you enjoy it?
Are you keen for Mooncake to release?

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Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford ✨ Spoiler Free Review

Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Author: Mara Rutherford
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 19th, 2019
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Australia
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Writing

Okay we are going to get my negative out of the road first. This was also the reason this book got 4.5 instead of 5 stars! INSTA LOVE!! Just no! There is not a single book with insta love that I’m like YES BITCH! Just nope..

Moving on! I adore the writing of this book! I DEVOURED it honestly, I read it late into the night until I literally fell asleep because I didn’t want to put it down! This world that is described in this book is so vivid an atmospheric! I loved it! I could picture the whole thing and I love the idea of village on the ocean. Houses just sticking out of the ocean and little boats to travel between it. I love the world!

Plot

I also really enjoyed the plot. It was full of interesting plot points and many twists I wasn’t expecting at all! It was super unpredictable and it kept me hooked the entire time! As I said before, I literally couldn’t put it down half the time!

Characters

I’ve already spoken on the Insta Love, so I won’t mention that again to do with the character. But I really enjoyed all the. characters, even the ones that are not likeable people, I enjoyed how they were written. All the characters felt very fleshed out and I loved seeing how they developed through the book!

Overall

I really enjoyed this book, obviously except the romance… Hopefully that is better in book 2, Kingdom of Sea and Stone. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series and I also love that this looks like it’s going to be a duology!

Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin Australia for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can pre-order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you wish!

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Paperback
Hardcover

Book Depository
Hardcover

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eBook
Paperback
Hardcover

Are you keen to pick up Crown of Coral and Pearl? Or were you lucky enough to snag an early copy? Did you enjoy it?

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NEWTs Edition – Magical ReadAThon TBR

My second TBR of the day! Don’t worry, there will be a 3rd too, just maybe not today

ReadAThon Announcement!

If you don’t know already Magical ReadAThon is a 2 part ReadAThon that occurs in April & August. The first part is your OWLs. In this round you read books to receive grades in Hogwarts Subjects. The NEWTs is similar but each subject has three grades you can receive.
A: Acceptable
E: Exceeds Expectations
O: Outstanding
The overall goal of the ReadAThon is to aim for a wizarding Career. There are specific subjects during the OWLs & NEWTs that you need to complete to get specific careers. I am aiming for Magizoologist!

So, for NEWTs I need to get an O in Care of Magical Creatures, E in Charms & E in Herbology. I have chosen books for more than just those subjects though. I am participating in the Beat the Bingo ReadAThon as well. So I just kinda made books fit into the NEWTs challenges!

Ancient Runes

A: Ehwaz (partnership) – Read recommended by a friend
E: Book written in past tense

Not chosen

O: Book that has been on your TBR of ages

Arithmancy

A: Book that ends on an even number
E: Read a standalone
O: Book that’s longer than 350 pages

Astronomy

A: Moon on the cover or anywhere in the title

Not Chosen

E: Word “night” in book title or series name
O: Read a Sci-Fi book (or book with stars on the cover)

Care of Magical Creatures

A: Follow the spiders! Why couldn’t it be follow the butterflies! Book title that starts with a letter A, for Aragog!
E: Book under 300 pages
O: Grab onto Fawke’s tail! Read a book with a bird on the cover

Charms

A: Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover
E: Read a comic/graphic novel/manga (or book under 150 pages)
O: Spongify (softening charm) – read a paperback book

Defence Against the Dark Arts

A: Book that’s black under the dust jacket

Not Chosen

E: Gilderoy’s memory charm – (grab a pen!) first book that you remembered just now from your TBR!
O: Cornish Pixie! Swat it away with a book written by an English author or set in England

Not Chosen

Divination

A: Read a white book

Not Chosen

E: Read a short story or a collection of short stories
O: Read the last book you bought/took from your library

This one will depend on what arrives in the mail. But I just placed an order that included 4 books. So this is a possibility

Herbology

A: Mandrake! Quick, put your headphones on! Listen to an audiobook (if not – green cover)
E: Read a book between 350-390 pages
O: Read a book with a flower on the cover

History of Magic

A: Read a fantasy
E: Read a book that includes a map
O: Tom Riddle’s diary: find memory – reread a favourite (or read a classic)

Muggle Studies

A: Cover that includes an actual photo element

Not Chosen

E: Book set in our real world

Not Chosen

O: Book written by a person of cover

Not Chosen

Potions

A: Polyjuice potion: Read your friend’s favourite book!

Not Chosen

E: House Ingredient: book with a cover in your Hogwarts house colour
O: Book that starts with a Prologue

Not Chosen

Transfiguration

A: Read a book with LGBTQIA+ representation
E: Read a book that’s not a first in the series
O: McGonagall does not mess around! Read a book over 500 pages

Not Chosen

Have you read any of these books? Did you love them? Hate them? Let me know! 
Also, let me know if you’re participating as well! And what career are you aiming for?!

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Beat the Bingo ReadAThon TBR!

So, I’ve been extremely inactive on my blog lately. Between Biannual Bibliothon, MedievalAThon & The Reading Rush I have been super busy & next month is probably going to be the same. I will be participating in NEWTs Edition of Magical ReadAThon (Month long), Beat the Bingo ReadAThon (Month long) & the Harry Potter Edition of Fantasy JourneyAThon (10th – 19th)!

Beat the Bingo ReadAThon is taking place over in the Facebook Group The YA Book Nerds which I run. You can join the group HERE!

I have chosen books for all the challenges except for the ‘Previous YA Book Nerds BOTM’ because as the organiser of the group I have read all the Group Books as I was the one that choose them & made the discussion questions. So I’ve just left this as a free choice for myself.

Read a book with a Male MC

Reread a Favourite

Read a book with a blue cover

Listen to an Audiobook

Read a fantasy book

Read a book with a plant on the cover

Read a Sci-Fi

Read a Graphic Novel

Read a book with multiple POV

Read a book under 250 pages

Read a Diverse Book

Read a book with gold on the cover

Read the Group Book

Read a Dystopian Book

Read a book set in the future

Read a book with red on the cover

Read a mystery book

Read a book by an Author of colour

Read an Own Voices book

Read a 2019 release

Read a book over 300 pages

Read a Historical Book

Read a book with yellow on the cover

Read a Middle Grade book

My TBR is a bit ambitious but I tried to choose a decent amount of Graphic Novels & Audiobooks! There are 14 books, 7 Audiobooks & 3 Graphic Novels! So fingers crossed I can complete as many as possible!

Have you read any of these books? Did you love them? Hate them? Let me know!
Also, let me know if you’re participating as well!

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

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Fantasy JourneyAThon – Round 2 – Harry Potter Edition!

Round 2 is here! And this time it is Harry Potter themed!

When?

10th to 19th of August, 2019! In your time zone.

How to?

Firstly, here is the map!

The Map break down:
Eyelops Owl Emporium > Leaky Cauldron > Forest of Dean > Kinds Cross Station > Tottenham Court Road > Flourish & Blotts > The 3 Broomsticks > 12 Grimmauld Place > Ollivanders > 4 Privet Drive

So for this Round your goal is to JOURNEY as far as you can on the map! Starting at Eyelops Owl Emporium. There are 10 challenges for the 10 days of the ReadAThon but you do not HAVE to complete all 10. Just go as far as you can!

The Locations?

So, this round I decided to choose a single book/series and use locations from it alone! I put a poll up on Twitter and you guys voted for Harry Potter! So all these locations were mentioned in the Harry Potter books at some point and I tried to avoid the REALLY obvious ones like Hogsmeade & the Castle.

The Challenges?

Eyelops Owl Emporium: Read a book with a bird on the cover

Leaky Cauldron: Read a book with witches/wizards

Kings Cross Station: Read a book with Scarlet on the cover

Forest of Dean: Read a book with a tree on the cover

Tottenham Court Road: Read a book under 300 pages

Flourish & Blotts: Read a book with a beautiful cover

12 Grimmauld Place: Read a book with a dark theme

The 3 Broomsticks: Read a book with multiple POV or Authors

Ollivanders: Read a book with magic

4 Privet Drive: Read a book set in the real world

Instagram Photo Challenges?

Make sure you use the Hashtag #FantasyJATIG as well as your Teams # (see below)

Litsy Post Challenges?

Make sure you use the hashtag #LitsyJAT as well as your Teams # (see below)

Extra Fun?

So for a bonus feature I thought I would add a little competition! This is completely optional and you don’t have to join this to join the ReadAThon.
This is a competition based on points earned!

Teams

If you don’t know your Hogwarts House then head on over to Pottermore, create an account & do the sorting hat quiz to find out.

Team #! Make sure you use your corresponding # when posting on social media to earn points. If they are not hashtagged then I wont see them & they won’t be counted. Also make you spell them correctly.
#JATGryffindor #JATHufflepuff #JATSlytherin #JATRavenclaw

How to earn points

Post a TBR: 20 Points
Each Challenge Completed: 30 Points
Post a Wrap Up: 20 Points
Instagram Photo Challenge Completed: 10 Points (per day)
Litsy Post Challenge Completed: 10 Points (per day)
Tweet about ReadAThon: 5 Points (Total of 30 Points can be earned per day)
Participated in a Twitter Sprint: 5 Points (Per Sprint)

*****For all Social Media (Twitter, Instagram or Litsy) posts please use the corresponding Hashtag to your companion so your points can be counted. These points will be added manually by myself and once the points have been added the Fantasy JourneyAThon account will like the post so you know they have been added.
#JATGryffindor #JATHufflepuff #JATSlytherin #JATRavenclaw

Enter Points for TBRs, Challenges Complete & Wrap Ups using the Google Forms linked below.

All points need to be submitted by 9:00pm of the 20th of August AEST as I will be announcing the winner at 10:00pm on the 20th of August AEST.

TBR Form
Books Read Form
Wrap Up Form

Social Media?

Twitter
Instagram
Litsy

Graphics?

Here are all the graphics you may need for your posts or videos!

Are you planning on participating? Also, what Team are you on?!?! I’m Gryffindor of course!

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Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Stronger than a Bronze Dragon
Author: Mary Fan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Page Street Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

Writing

I have mixed feelings about the writing of this one and that is it’s main downfall for me. Firstly, I didn’t feel like the world was explained fully and I didn’t get enough info on the Magic System either, so I was a little underwhelmed with that. What I learnt about the world was super interesting and I would love to learn more, however this is a standalone, so won’t be getting that wish granted. I do appreciate that this is a standalone as YA Fantasy standalones are rare! My other issue with the writing is that it was a tad predictable and pretty cliche. I didn’t love the romance as it was pretty close to insta love. Which is a nope from me. It was only a little predictable, mainly with the romance and related things though. I didn’t guess the major plot points but there were things that I guessed..

However, I did enjoy the action, pacing, world and characters. So I didn’t hate this book but there could have been improvements..

Nothing can truly be fixed. Once broken, nothing will ever be s it was . . . And though you can’t repair something entirely, you can mold it into something better.

Plot

As I previously said there were some predictability, but not a tonne. I did enjoy the plot though, it kept me hooked and it was full of twists and turns. I also enjoyed the pacing, it felt very fast paced which made it easy to read!

Characters

The characters were quite enjoyable even though they were a bit predictable. This is one of those books that you are left wondering if you are supporting the right character and questioning their choices. Which I enjoy personally!

She throws up her hand. “If you were any denser, you’d fall right through the earth!”

Overall

So overall I enjoyed some things and disliked others. The book was enjoyable, action packed, fast paced, had an interesting world and good characters but there were a few things that could have been improved!

Thank you to NetGalley & Page Street Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson

Have you read Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon? What are your thoughts??

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Aurora Rising
Series Name: The Aurora Cycle
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 470 (Paperback)
Publishers: Allen & Unwin
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic

Writing

The only way I can describe this book is straight out entertaining!
My first critique of the writing is that because this book was so fast paced & there are so many POVs I found it a bit lacking of background information. There were only really a few things that I felt like was fully explained as they directly impacted the story. But I wanted to know more about this world and also the ailen races.. I love a good action packed book, but I need a balance between action & world developed which this one felt a little lacking in.
Secondly, again because it was so action packed & there are multiple POVs I found that I didn’t fully connect with the characters. I enjoyed them and was rooting for them but I don’t feel that full on connection to them. Really any of them.

As for good things, it was action packed, very fast paced & the witty banter was on point! It made for an enjoyable and entertaining experience.

“Hmm.” I make a show of patting down my uniform, peering down my tunic. “I seem to have left the part of me that cares in my other pants.”

Plot

This is going to be a short one as I’ve already basically explained it all. The plot is fast paced, action packed & gripping. Also fairly unpredictable, there was one major thing that I easily guessed before the big reveal but for the most part it was unpredictable.

Characters

So as I’ve already said, I didn’t have a huge connection with the characters but I did enjoy them. My favourite would have to be either Finian or Kal! I can’t choose between the two as they were both amazing! Also the banter between Cat & Fin was on point!

I loved that we got POVs of twins, both of them. I found that really unique as It’s kinda rare to have a Twin as an MC let alone having POV from both Scarlett & Tyler.

I also appreciated the rep! Main one being Finian who is both disabled and possibly either Bi or maybe Pan? If that’s what an ailen race calls it anyway… I don’t believe it was specifically stated but from the evidence that’s the vibes I’m getting.

“Are you, like, a professional arsehole or . . . ?”

“More a hobbyist,” Finian replies. “Hoping to go pro next season.”

Overall

Overall I enjoyed the experience. It was a fun, fast paced, action packed, interesting & hilarious book and I loved it but there were a couple little negative things that I had for it too. I’m super keen for book 2 & hopefully there is a little more background explanation & also I am able to connect more with the characters!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Paperback
Hardcover

Book Depository
Paperback
Hardcover

Angus & Robertson
Paperback
Hardcover

Have you read Aurora Rising? Did you love it? What did you think about the world building??

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

All the links!

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Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links. This does not change the price of your purchases, however, I receive a small commission if you use any of those links to make a purchase! Which I highly appreciate!