A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: 
V.E. Schwab
Series Name: 
Shades of Magic
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 27th, 2015
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Publishers: Titan Books
Rating:
5 star

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Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

9781783295401

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“Hesitation is the death of advantage.”

This was my second experience with Victoria Schwab’s writing (first being the Monsters of Verity Duology). I enjoyed her writing when I first read one of her books, but I think I enjoyed it, even more, this time around. She has the ability to get to the point and move along quickly to keep the book feeling well paced but also takes enough time to build and develop the world and characters. She created a very vivid world (well worlds, plural,  actually) in this book. However, it was in no way info dumping. We gradually learn about each London and it’s done in a way that feels natural rather than just for the sack of world building.

I also really enjoyed the way the characters were introduced and developed. Even in this first book of the series all the characters we meet feel fleshed out and realistic. Nothing felt forced or fake about these characters or their relationships with each other.

This is also a book that has the right amount of romance for me. As in very little. In A Darker Shade of Magic, not once did I feel like the romance was taking over the plot of the book. It felt natural and for once the characters were more focused on the world ending than their relationship. That is a pet hate for me in YA books. Characters just go off and do romantic or sexual crap when the world is falling apart around them, yet they claim to be helping. That was not the case in this book. The characters had their priorities straight for once!

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In the beginning, the plot was a little slow. However, it was done well. In the beginning, the author is setting the scene and things are happening but you can’t make the connections. Then at around 1/4 of the way into the book, we dive straight into the action. From then on out the book is full of action, mystery & twists and turns.

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

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First off me have Lila, who I loved and also she reminded me or myself. For one thing, she has a sarcastic attitude, which is totally me. She is also funny at the perfect times, which while I’m not going to toot my own horn by saying I’m the same, I do amuse myself with my well-timed jokes, whether other people find it funny, well I don’t particularly care haha.

“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”

She also has an awesome attitude to life. She doesn’t let anyone tell her what she can’t do, she takes opportunities when they come along and she tries to live life to the fullest even if that means risking her own neck.

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”

Next, we have Kell who is such an amazing character. He is one of those characters that is just straight out good. He is caring, loving and protective even when he doesn’t know people fully. His relationship with his brother Rhy is amazing! I love strong family dynamics in books and even though the whole situation between them is a little rough they care about each other fiercely. They try and keep each other on the right track (even if it doesn’t always work) and they protect each other with everything they have.

Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible.

Rhy, Kell’s brother, we only actually see a couple times in the book. However, in that short time we do, I really liked him. Like I said above I really enjoy his and Kell’s relationship. He is another simply good guy in this book (There were 3). He is kinda sweet an innocent some of the time but then he is also a bit of a troublemaker and wants to have fun. He is also just so nice and cares so much.

Holland is a questionable character. While I don’t agree with some of the things he does, I don’t hate him either. He is a mysterious character and I hope we get to learn more about him.

Lastly, I want to talk about Barron, who only have a small role in the book. I loved him! He is my 3rd good guy type character. He is so nice and just wants to help those in need. He is one of those people that would do anything to help someone even if he doesn’t really know them. What happened to him throughout the book killed me, like a lot. I won’t say anything more as I don’t want to spoil anyone.

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Overall I really enjoyed this book. There is nothing I can complain about or that I didn’t enjoy. The writing, world building, character development and plot are all amazing. The characters are so well done and just amazing people! I love it!
I did read this as part of the A Darker Shade of ReadALongs which is hosted by Common Spence on YouTube. So I won’t be reading Book 2 until next month! Which kinda sucks as I want to start it right now, but I will wait so I don’t get confused with what happens in which book during the discussion!

She considered him a moment before answering. “Delilah Bard,” she said. “But Lila will do.” Lila. A soft name but she used it like a knife, slashing out on the first syllable, the second barely a whisper of metal through air.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
*There is an alternate cover for this book. I will insert it below. The Links with a * next to them are editions with the alternate cover*

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository, Booktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Paperback   //   Paperback*   //   Hardcover*

Booktopia
Paperback   //   Paperback*   //   Hardcover*   //   Hardcover Collector’s Edition   //   Hardcover Collector’s Edition*

Angus & Robertson
Paperback   //   Paperback*   //   Hardcover*   //   Hardcover Collector’s Edition   //   Hardcover Collector’s Edition*

Amazon (Aus)
Kindle   //   Paperback   //   Hardcover*

Scribd (Available in Australia – there is no way I can see if it is available elsewhere)
eBook

Alternate cover:

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Copy of Blog titles

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Menagerie Series by Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland – Spoiler Free Review

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Okay, so I will be reviewing the whole Menagerie series together. I have already reviewed The Menagerie, the first book but this will just be an overview of all the books together. You can find my review of the Menagerie HERE!

Title: The Menagerie 
Author: 
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
Series Name: 
Menagerie
Genre: 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: March 12th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Hardback)
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Logan Wilde is accidentally drawn into the mysterious, dangerous world of the Menagerie when he discovers a griffin hiding under his bed . . . and it leads him straight to the weirdest girl in seventh grade, Zoe Kahn.

Zoe is panicking. Her family has been guarding the Menagerie for centuries. If they don’t get the cubs back fast, the whole place will be shut down. To save the griffins’ lives, she’s willing to break all the rules, even if it means letting an outsider like Logan help. But the real mystery remains: Is someone trying to sabotage the Menagerie?

Who let the griffins out…and why?

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Title: Dragon on Trial
Author: 
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
Series Name: 
Menagerie
Genre: 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Pages: 304 (Hardback)
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

The mysteries and adventure are back and bigger than ever in the second book in the Menagerie trilogy! With the magic of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven and the charm and humor of Carl Hiaasen, The Menagerie #2: Dragon on Trial is perfect for young readers who love myths, fairy tales, and magical creatures.

Someone or something has murdered the goose who laid the golden eggs, and the evidence points to a dragon named Scratch. But this mystery won’t be that easy to solve. . . . Zoe and Logan are back on the case in another exciting fantasy adventure from authors—and sisters—Tui T. Sutherland (Wings of Fire) and Kari Sutherland.

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Title: Krakens and Lies
Author: 
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
Series Name: 
Menagerie
Genre: 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 272 (Hardback)
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

The Menagerie trilogy comes to a fantastic conclusion in Krakens and Lies, the third magical and mysterious adventure from Tui Sutherland (New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series) and Kari Sutherland. Young readers who love mythological creatures and series like Fablehaven, the Spiderwick Chronicles, and Spirit Animals won’t want to miss the Menagerie.

Someone has been sabotaging the Menagerie, and Logan and Zoe are on the case. But their troubles only get worse when the basilisk escapes its enclosure and the merpeople go on strike—leaving the kraken to its own devices. The race is on to solve the mystery and save the Menagerie in this riveting, action-packed finale!

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Goodreads Synopsis (1)

I love the covers of these books. They are so colourful and fun as most Middle Grade covers are. Each cover also represents each book really well and gives you an idea of the type of creatures and things that will be dealt with in each book.

Goodreads Synopsis (2)

I really enjoyed the writing. It was so easy and fun to read. The books are really quick to read too which was good and bad. Good because they go by quickly but bad because I want more!! I love the friendships in this book so much and also the families. We have some awesome family dynamics in this book which I love! It is so rare to see awesome families in books. There is a very strong friendship/family theme to these books as well as caring for creatures and helping people/animals that can’t help themselves. These were all great messages/themes and made the book extremely enjoyable.

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

The plot is so fun! There is always something going on in these books. There are tonnes of twists and turns to keep you engaged in the story. For the most part, I didn’t find these books too predictable. There were a couple times I guessed but it was usually just before the truth was revealed anyway. It didn’t affect the enjoyability of the books at all though. As all three books involve a mystery it is fun trying to guess what is going on.

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

There is a tonne of characters in these books and I love all of them except the ‘bad guys’ obviously, but I can also see how well done those bad guys were done. For my opinions on Zoe, Logan & Blue have a look at my review for The Menagerie. As for the other characters I enjoyed most of them, as there are so many I will just do a sentence or two for each. Just be warned some of these characters kinda give away spoilers for the series as there is a tonne of mystery around some of these characters. I won’t talk about any of the bad guys though as that will completely spoil the books.

Marco was such an amusing character, I loved his humour and his obsession with Keiko.
Keiko is exactly how you would expect a proud mythical creature that can turn human to act. It still really funny watching her react to people.
Jasmin was bitchy at the start, but I get it, she was still angry and confused and reacted accordingly. But in the end, she was fun and just took everything in her stride.
Elsie we see very little of but I enjoyed her a lot. She is Aussie for one thing!
Matthew, I was suspicious of at the start but he was also an interesting character and was always there for his family and the animals.
Ruby was just a stuck up, up herself, delusional character.
Mr. & Mrs. Kahn, Zoe’s parents, are awesome, you already know I love the family in these books. Mrs. Kahn is fun, determined and very loving. Mr. Kahn was just as cool and loving.
Mr. Wilde, Logan’s Dad was a cool addition to the story. He loved his son, but his main focus was on finding his wife who disappeared. He was loving, caring and a little obsessed.
Abigal is a kinda badass mythical creature tracker, which is awesome!
Miss Sameera is funny and a little crazy at times. She is really amusing though and I enjoyed her in the end.
Melissa is always serious and proper and it’s so funny when shit doesn’t go correctly and she starts worrying and getting new paperwork ready to fix the problem.

I also LOVE all the magical creatures. So many of them have really amusing and fun personalities which just added so much to the story!

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

These books are amazing! They are so fun and adventurous. The books are so quick and easy to read. The world is amazing and the characters are superb. The friendships and family relationships are the best! I really wish there was more to this series! I want to see everyday life with all the characters looking after the menagerie creatures!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can buy the series at the links below!

The Menagerie:
Book Depository

Dragon on Trial:
Book Depository

Krakens and Lies:
Book Depository

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Wayward Children Series Audiobook Review & Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire – Mini Spoiler Free Review

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Okay, so this post will be a little all over the place. First I just want to do an overall review of the audiobooks for Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones & Beneath the Sugar Sky.

All three books were narrated by different people. Every Heart a Doorway is narrated by Cynthia Hopkins,  Down Among the Sticks and Bones is narrated by the author, Seanan McGuire & Beneath the Sugar sky is narrated by Michelle Dockrey.
So because of that I can’t really do an overall opinion of all of them as they were all slightly different.

My least favourite was actually Down Among the Sticks and Bones narrated by the author. I personally didn’t love her voices for some of the characters, mostly the Doctor. She used this creepy husky whisper and it was very off-putting. This was a reread for me and I enjoyed the Doctor when reading the physical book, but with that voice it just made him feel like the creep. Down Among the sticks and Bones is also my least favourite out of the series so far and the narration didn’t help with that.

Now onto a more positive note. I really enjoyed the narration for Every Heart a Doorway, especially the narration for Kade, his voice just sounded like what it was meant to. He has a thick accent and when reading in my head I just didn’t give him that, but with the narration it was great.  I honestly think the audiobook helped me like him a lot more than I did when I first read the book too. My first opinion was he was kinda boring, but now I quite enjoy him. Overall Cynthia’s narration was really good and matched well with the narrator of the last book, whereas Seanan McGuire’s narration really stood out as not as good as the others.

Next onto an even more positive note. I loved the last book! I will talk more about why in my mini spoiler free review below but I really enjoyed the narration. Michelle Dockery did a great job! Her voices were really good!

I highly recommend the audiobooks of this series, even if I didn’t love book 2. The other two make up for it and maybe you won’t have an issue with Seanan’s narration as much as I did.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

Now onto the spoiler free review of Beneath the Sugar Sky!! I’m not doing a full review as it will start to get spoilery to the other books discussing certain characters. Especially when some of the Wayward Children’s series are in the past and some in the future, so everything adds up and you just need to read it all!

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Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series Name: 
Wayward Children
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Jan 9th, 2018
Pages: 174 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

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You can find my review for Every Heart a Doorway HERE & Down Among the Sticks and Bones HERE!

If you can’t tell by my rating, this is my favourite out of the series so far! This one was just so fun and adventurous! I also really enjoyed seeing 2 new worlds that we haven’t explored before! I also loved that we got to see some of the characters that I love. I enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway because of the school and the idea of the doors and the magical and amazing worlds they lead to. Even though we did see that in Down Among the Sticks and Bones it left me underwhelmed as the world wasn’t actually explained or explored. So I didn’t get what I wanted. In this one, however, we got to explore 2 new worlds that we did get to learn a bit about, one more than the other, but it was still really interesting and fun. Especially learning about Sumi’s candy land world! Reminds me of Wreck it Ralph to be honest, but it was so fun.

This book just has everything! Awesome character, amazing worlds and unique ideas. It made me both laugh and tear up at different points!

I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to continue the series! I hope the next one is just as adventurous as this one was! I haven’t read a synopsis but by how this one ended I have a fair guess of who it will be about! I hope I’m right!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase Beneath the Sugar Sky at the links below!

Book Depository
Hardback

Booktopia
Hardback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook   //    Hardback

If you’re Aussie you can also get the first three books in the series on audiobook as part of a Scribd membership! Scribd is awesome! You pay around $13 (AUD) a month and get unlimited access to all the eBooks and audiobooks on their app! It is available in other parts of the world too, however, I don’t know if the Wayward Children’s books are available as there are different books available to different countries.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

FACEBOOK    /    TWITTER    /    PERSONAL TWITTER    /    PINTEREST    /    VERO: DUSK ANGEL READS    /    INSTAGRAM  /    PERSONAL INSTAGRAM    /    GOODREADS    /    PHOTOGRAPHY TUMBLR   /    LITSY: DUSKANGELREADS
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The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Menagerie 
Author: 
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
Series Name: 
Menagerie
Genre: 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: March 12th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Hardback)
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Logan Wilde is accidentally drawn into the mysterious, dangerous world of the Menagerie when he discovers a griffin hiding under his bed . . . and it leads him straight to the weirdest girl in seventh grade, Zoe Kahn.

Zoe is panicking. Her family has been guarding the Menagerie for centuries. If they don’t get the cubs back fast, the whole place will be shut down. To save the griffins’ lives, she’s willing to break all the rules, even if it means letting an outsider like Logan help. But the real mystery remains: Is someone trying to sabotage the Menagerie?

Who let the griffins out…and why?

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Goodreads Synopsis (1)

I love this cover and that is what dragged me in when I first saw it on Scribd. Middle-Grade covers are always so colourful, bright and fun and that is exactly what I see in this cover, except maybe bright, it’s a bit dark really. But still really nice.

Goodreads Synopsis (2)

I absolutely loved the writing of this book. It was a really easy and quick read but also super engaging. This book kept me hooked from the first page. There was also so many enjoyable aspects written into this book.
The friendship was so good even though Logan only just got to know the two other main characters they bonded quickly and became a strong and beautiful friendship.
There was some diversity in this one too, the main being the MC Logan is black, so that was an awesome addition.
I also really enjoyed the little hints at books like Harry Potter and movies like Pirate of the Caribean. It just made it that little more fun. Especially when we have a baby Griffin cub that loves Harry Potter books and wants to be an author.

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

The plot was so fun and action-packed. As I said I was hooked the entire time! This is one of those books that you could call a feel-good read but it was also a little mysterious and magical too.
This one also ended on an extreme cliffhanger and I took 10 minutes debating whether to continue the series straight away and I decided I am going to!

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

The characters were soo good! We follow two main characters in multi-POV.

The first main character is Logan. Logan is a really interesting and amusing character. I loved his joking and messing around. I also loved how he interacted with the Griffins, it was just so amusing. He is also such an awesome friend, even though they only just became friends really.

The next main character is Zoe. She is an anxious but fun character. Of course, you would be anxious if baby Griffins escaped and are running around town eating all the cheeseburgers and stealing Harry Potter books. She is also dedicated and loyal to her friends, family and the Menagerie.

Our other main character is Blue who is the third part of this friendship. We don’t get to read from his POV, so he isn’t really a MC but I consider him part of the main group. Blue is a very interesting character, I won’t explain as it is part of the mystery of the book but I guess you could say he is diverse haha. You’ll get it if you read the book! I really enjoyed him and loved his friendship with Zoe and how he accepted Logan quickly and helped him out.

One thing I want to talk about is Zoe’s family! I hate the absent/dead parent trope and I wrote a discussion about this and also talked about it in my No Disclaimer Book Tag. But for once one or our MCs had awesome, fun and loving parents. Logan does get this trope slightly though. His mum left them but he and his father are fairly close. His father does come under that category of unrealistic though. He just accepts that Logan suddenly has a new friend and stays there two nights in a row without even questioning who this friend is, who his friend’s parents are or anything like that. If I had texted mum and told her I was staying at a random friends house I would have been bombarded with questions before she even considered it.

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

I really enjoyed this book! It was just so fun and adventurous! I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, fun and action-packed read that is light and easy but full of mythical creatures and great characters. I can’t wait to dive into book 2, Dragon on Trial, and finally get to meet the dragons in the Menagerie!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase this book from the below links!

Book Depository
Paperback

Booktopia
Paperback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook   //   Paperback   //   Hardcover

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Ace of Shades
Author: 
Amanda Foody
Series Name: The Shadow Game
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2018
Pages: 408 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Teen Aus
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

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Goodreads Synopsis (1)

This cover is great! It is eye catching and perfectly represents this book! I love the addition of the shadow taking the form of the city in the background and the card suits right at the back. I also loved the little quotes on the back and front of the book. Before I started the book it made me really interested in the book!

“Take a card and stake your soul. Survival is your only goal. Surrender to the vice within. Bet your life – hope you win.”

Goodreads Synopsis (2)

Amanda Foody’s writing is absolutely superb! After reading Amanda Foody’s debut, Daughter of the Burning City, she was straight away on my auto-buy list! The world building in this book is amazing. It is such a vivid and unique world. Some of the ideas that came to life in this book were just so interesting! I’m so keen to see how this world will expand even more in book 2 & 3. I honestly feel like, given the chance, Amanda Foody could create a world as vivid and in-depth as the worlds in Harry Potter, LOTR and other similar books. I’m so glad we got a trilogy from her this time where she can expand her world so much more (don’t get me wrong, her stand-alone debut was still amazing and the world was so detailed as well).

The book is written in multi-POV, following Enne & Levi. The multi-POV was awesome. It was really easy to differentiate between the two POVs, which is one of my main issues with a lot of multi-POV books. But in this one, the two characters showed different personalities within their perspectives and it was really easy to tell whose POV I was reading from, even without reading the name.
Her characters are also really well done! She has left a little to still be discovered in the next book, which I also enjoy.  The characters are well rounded and complex and it was awesome seeing them develop throughout the book.

As someone that is not a romance fan, I didn’t mind this one. Even though the whole book took place in 10 days, it didn’t feel like insta love. For the most part, it was just attraction, tension and genuine care, so that is the main reason why I don’t see it as instalove. Either way, she does write the tension really well!

I also loved how she wrote the diversity in this book! There was no questioning, it was just completely normal to be a person of colour, LGBTQIAP+, etc. There were a couple LGBTQIAP+ characters that popped up throughout the book which was great!

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

The plot was really addicting complex and kept me hooked for the whole book. There are so many aspects of the plot in this book and every one of them was really well done. There were tonnes of twists and turns to keep it interesting the whole time. There is also a mystery that keeps you guessing all the time.

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

Enne is the first main character that we are introduced to and she was an awesome character. She developed amazingly throughout the book, but we also see the struggle within herself as she develops and changes away from how she thought she was meant to be or how she planned to be. She is a realistic character, she doesn’t have these unbelievable skills, bravery or anything along those lines. She has insecurities, fears, and she makes mistakes but that doesn’t stop her, she learns from her mistakes and overcomes her fears, she is brave when she has to, to save herself or others, and I just found her a joy to read from.

Next, we have Levi, who is the other MC we follow. He is made out to be dark, dangerous and devilish and he plays those rolls when he has to. However, we see him open up as he comes to trust Enne and he is so much more than just a street lord. He is such a warm and amazing character. He is always trying to help out rather than actually start trouble, whether that be saving himself, trying to look after the Irons, trying to save a friend or helping out Enne. He is such a caring person and I love him for it. He is one of those people that you could always rely on if you were friends with him.

There are a couple side characters that we meet that were also really interesting. First, we have Jac. His friendship with Levi is amazing. He is always there when Levi needs him and he trusts him completely, but he also questions Levi if he thinks Levi is doing the wrong thing and calls him out on stuff. Which is how a real friendship should be. Jac also has a dark past but he and Levi will always have each other’s backs. He also learns to trust and open up to Enne as Levi begins to trust her more.
Next, is slightly a spoiler I guess, it isn’t a full-on spoiler but this character isn’t how they first are shown, so if you want to know nothing then maybe skip this paragraph. I’m talking about Lola. At first, she does not get along with our other characters but she develops over time and becomes an awesome side character. She is another one with a dark past and is just trying to survive and help the people she cares about. Her friendship with Enne is quite amusing throughout most of the book but she turned out to be a reliable friend in the end.

Well, those are the main characters I want to talk about as the others had a smaller roll. Most were still well developed for a character that didn’t get a tonne of page time, but they are still smaller rolls. All the characters were so well done though!

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

I love this book so much! The world is amazing and unique and the characters are complex and well rounded. The book rounded off amazingly to lead up to the sequel. The epilogue is a direct lead up to the events in book 2 and its mystery makes me so keen for book 2 to come out!!

“She had entered New Reynes as delicate as glass. She had even shattered. But as it turned out, beneath the dust and shards, something stronger lay within her, a substance less easily broken.”

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

*I read a finished copy that I had already pre-ordered before requesting the eARC. I did plan on reading the eARC before release but I just didn’t have time and the physical copy arrived before I had a chance to read it*

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

You can purchase this book at any of the below links!
Some of the links are to the alternate cover which I will put a pic of below and I will put a (*) next to the ones that have the alternate cover.

Harlequin Website
Paperback   //   eBook

Book Depository
Hardback   //   Paperback*

QBD
Paperback

Booktopia
Paperback   //   Hardback   //   Paperback* – Pre-order

Amazon (Aus)
eBooks   //   Hardback   //   Paperback   //   Audible

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Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Also, my blog has had a makeover! Let me know what you think?!

Lizaxx1

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Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: 
Alwyn Hamilton
Series Name: Rebel of the Sands
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 1st, 2018
Pages: 506 (Paperback)
Publishers: Faber & Faber
Rating:
5 star

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Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

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You can find my spoiler free review of Rebel of the Sands HERE! Don’t judge it too hard, it was my first ever review. You can also find the review for Traitor to the Throne HERE!

Warning there may be spoilers for Rebel of the Sands & Traitor to the Throne but there will be no spoilers for Hero at the Fall!

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I adore these books! They are absolutely gorgeous, especially the physical copies. The photos just don’t do it justice! I also love the image in the middle of the cover. They always show something within the story which I love!

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I absolutely love the writing in these books! They are action packed, unpredictable & amazing! I also really enjoyed the additions of the short stories/tales in this one. That just added a little extra to the book that was really well done. I also really enjoy the POV in this book. It is all told by Amani, however, some of the book was told in the first person POV and other parts were third person POV, this was mostly when the tales were being told, but also right out at the end when it was tale and reality coming together.

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As I said the book was action packed! Which made for a plot with tonnes of twists and turns. It kept me on the edge the entire time and I absolutely loved it! As this is the end of the trilogy there were no cliffhangers like in the other books that left me needing to read the next book straight away! Even though the end of the book was heartbreaking to some degree I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a very satisfying ending for the most part.

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Amani is one of my favourite female characters ever! She is a badass sharpshooter with awesome powers. She is quick thinking and determined. She is also loving and caring and would do anything for the people that she considered family. She was real though too. She struggled with what was right and wrong. Always trying to do right but still being tempted by what her heart wanted rather than what she knew she had to do.
Jin was another awesome character! He was strong, but didn’t want power or to be in the middle of everything. He just wanted to help however he can.
Shazad is another favourite! Her friendship with Amani is amazing! She is also just a badass character alone too. She is strong, an amazing fighter and extremely tactical! She always has a plan and can think up a plan on the spot when needed!
Izz & Maz are sarcastic an awesome characters. I love that we finally got to see some more of them in this book! They were always there when the other characters needed them.
I also liked Sam a lot more in this book than I did in Traitor to the Throne. He is funny and sarcastic which was a good break from all the seriousness. He was also strong and even though he was technically from the enemy side, he still helped the people he cared for the most.

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I love everything about this series! The writing is amazing and I loved the new tales in this one! The plot was so well done. The characters are also amazing. I loved basically all of them. Even the bad guys are done so well! I still hate them but I can appreciate how well they were written! This is one of my favourite series I have ever read! I can’t wait to see what Alwyn Hamilton does next! We already have an ‘Untitled YA Fantasy’ planned according to Goodreads and I can’t wait!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Our Dark Duet
Author: 
Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 510 (Paperback)
Publishers: Greenwillow Books
Rating:

5 star

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THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

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You can find my spoiler free review of This Savage Song HERE!

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I really like the cover of this book! They are so simple but represent the books so well. I also love the colour of this one too. The font is also really cool and probably my favourite book cover font!

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Everything I said in my review for This Savage Song still stands when it comes to the writing. The writing is amazing! I love how Schwab described and built this world! Her writing grips you and you just don’t want to put the book down! The way she develops characters is really good too.

Also, very little romance in this one which I really enjoyed.

Again, I am still complaining that there is no map!! Especially because we explore another city in this book as well as Verity.

Lastly, I wish we had a bit more info on the Chaos Eater. It just kinda poped up and we never found out any info on it or what happened to it in the end.

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The plot was action packed and gripping. This book is a tad darker than This Savage Song and it was really well done.

And that ending! Did you have to do that to me?!

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This Savage Song was written in split POV between Kate & August but Our Dark duet also introduces another POV as well. I won’t say who as it is as I don’t want to spoil a rather large plot twist that happens between the end of This Savage Song and the start of Our Dark Duet. But it was really interesting seeing the world from that person’s POV and seeing what the other side is up to.

Kate is an amazing character. I liked her a lot more in this book than in This Savage Song as I felt like she became herself in this book rather than trying to impress her father all the time like in This Savage Song.
She was strong and didn’t bend to what everyone else wanted of her. She fought to get rid of the monsters while struggling the whole time with her only monsters (well not entirely her own 😉)

August I didn’t love as much in this book. In This Savage Song he fought to be what he wanted to be and Kate tried to be exactly as her father would want. But in Our Dark Duet I feel like the rolls changed. August was just doing what was expected of him and Kate was doing whatever she pleased. They just kinda swapped over. August annoyed me a little when Kate returned and I totally agree with all her complaints when they were first reunited!

Soro I did not like that much. He was brutal and wouldn’t listen to anyone but himself unless he was given a direct order by someone higher ranking than him. He just needs to chill out!

That’s all I will talk about for the characters as the fact that a couple survided is a plot twist and I don’t want to ruin it for everyone!

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I love Schwabs writing! It is descriptive and beautiful. The world is so amazing and I loved exploring a bit more of that world in this book. The plot was really good too, even if it was heartbreaking at the end. The characters are really well done eve if August as a character kinda annoyed me for a bit there. I can’t wait to pick up something else from V.E./Victoria Schwab as this Duology was the first I picked up on hers except her short story in Because You Love To Hate Me.



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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