House of Salt and Sorrow 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: House of Salt and Sorrow
Author: Erin A Craig
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery/Horror
Publication Date: August 6th, 2019
Pages: 416
Publishers: Delacorte
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Firstly, this was the first book I have finished in ages! Not only have I been super busy but I’ve also been in a reading slump. I’m still not out but this book was helpful as it was super gripping! I also haven’t written a review since the end of September. So please bare with me.

Let’s start with the negatives and get those out of the road. I had one main issue with House of Salt and Sorrow which was that certain parts felt a bit rushed. There were parts throughout that felt rushed and were hard to follow. I found myself having to reread sections to really understand what was going on. The ending also felt a bit rushed. There was all this build up and then it ends pretty quickly with not a tonne of problems.. The book still ended fine and it all made sense, but it could have been executed a bit better.

Now for the good stuff! This book is SUPER atmospheric and creepy. I loved the feel and setting of the book however, I would have enjoyed a map just so I could figure out the placement of certain places like Highmoor, the Mausoleum & the lighthouse. I also loved the premise and whole idea of this book. It was very unique and also really well developed, especially considering it is a standalone. This one actually worked really well as a standalone with everything wrapping up in the end. It was also mostly unpredictable. There were a couple little things I guessed but for the most part I was kept on my toes wanting to know what happens next.
The characters were also really well done! All the sisters and step mother were very fleshed out. They all had their own feel and personalities that shown through. It did throw me off a couple times with the triplets. I kept thinking they were younger than they were because of how the other sisters referred to them and how they acted sometimes. Then we would get a reminder that they are actually like 15 or something like that. It just threw me off a couple times. I also really didn’t like Camille. I’m not sure if she was meant to be unlikable but she just rubbed me the wrong way..

So overall, I enjoyed House of Salt and Sorrow but it did have a few issues for me. I’m keen to see what Erin A. Craig comes out with next though! I’ll definitely be grabbing that one if it sounds interesting.
Recommend if you’re a mystery, fantasy & horror fan as this book combines those 3 beautifully.

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

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SimsAThon/October TBR

This month I am participating in 2 ReadAThons! SimsAThon is a month long ReadAThon themed around the Sims game which takes place for the entirety of October & I’m also participating in MateAThon but I will have a dedicated TBR for that one coming soon.
So let’s jump into the SimsAThon TBR first!

Choose A Household: Read a book from later in a series

This is the 28th book in the Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie, so it’s definitely later in the series!

Build a House: Read something set in another world

This is a YA standalone fantasy set in the Kingdom of Achra!

Perfect the Layout: Read a book with an interesting format

I plan to reread the whole The Illuminae Files series via audiobook this month. I have read the whole series & also reread Illuminae & Gemina via audiobook but I want to reread Obsidio via audiobook. So I am rereading the whole series. Illuminae is also written as a dossier of documents, so it fits the challenge well!

Interior Design: Read a book with a pretty cover

I love this cover and I have been meaning to read it for a while! This one I will be listening to as an audiobook.

Live Mode

Fall in Love: Read a book with a romance element

I don’t usually deliberately choose romance books but this one sounds like an interesting Sci-Fi book but also has romance. So hopefully it isn’t too over the top!

Reach the top of your Career Track: Read a finale

This is the last book in the Fallen Isles Trilogy and I can’t wait to get to this one!

Take a bubble bath: Read a book over 400 pages

This is the last book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I can’t wait for this one either! I’m a little nervous as I didn’t love an element in Escaping the Houdini but I’m hoping I will love this one as much as I love Stalking Jack the Ripper & Hunting Prince Dracula.

Get Married: Read a book with an established couple

This one features a couple that is established in one of the previous books and I already wanted to read it, so it fits perfectly!

Pay Bills: Read your most recent purchase

My most recent purchase was of the 3 Exclusive Collector’s Editions of the US Shades of Magic series. So out of those 3 I only have A Conjuring of Light left to read, so that is the one I will be reading for this challenge!

Astronaut: Read a book set in space

This is set on another planet, so close enough to space. This is Volume 4 of The Woods.

Athlete: Read a book featuring sports

This one is pretty self explanatory. A graphic novel featuring fencing.

Business: Read a book with a number in the title

The Woods: Vol 5! Another self explanatory one as the number 5 is in the title.

Criminal: Read a Thriller

This is a Thriller that was being hyped up around release and I have been curious about since! So I’m keen to get to the audiobook of this one.

Painter: Read a book with a colourful cover

This is another Graphic Novel that I have been keen to get to and it has a colourful cover, so it fits the challenge!

Secret Agent: Read a mystery book

For this challenge I will just be listening to the next book in the Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie. Whichever one that is!

Style Influencer: Read a hyped book

When everyone was hyping this book I said to myself that I would not read it as I was quite frankly just sick of hearing about it. Then when I was looking for books for my TBR I was scrolling down my saved audiobooks on Scribd and this one was there, so I decided to give it a go.

Tech Guru: Read a futuristic book

Wildcard is the sequel to Warcross which is a futuristic sci-fi gaming type book and I’m keen to get to it except that I really hope the romance that was present in Warcross does not come up in this one.

Writer: Read a book by a new-to-you author

This is another audiobook I want to listen to and I can’t wait to get to it.

Then there was also these challenges but I haven’t chosen any books for these just yet.

Other books on my TBR!

Are you participating in SimsAThon?
What are you most looking forward to read in October?

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Immunity by Erin Bowman 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Immunity
Series: Contagion
Author: Erin Bowman
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019
Pages: 434
Publishers: Harper Teen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Survivors of a deadly planetary outbreak take on a new, sinister adversary in the sequel to Contagion.

They thought their nightmare was over, but Thea, Coen, and Nova’s rescue was only the beginning. After being imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety, it’s clear that the threat they left behind isn’t as distant as they’d hoped—and this time the entire galaxy is at risk.

Now that threat is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare. To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, the survivors must harness the evil they faced on the planet Achlys and learn to wield the only weapon they have left: themselves. 

So let’s start with the positives this time as I usually get the negatives out of the road first.

So to begin with there is just something about Erin Bowman’s writing that I find extremely gripping! I just couldn’t put the book down! Contagion I read in 1 day! While it took me a couple days for Immunity, that was more because I’m (hopefully) coming out of a reading slump and I was busy, so didn’t have a day to just dedicate to reading!
Immunity was also fast paced and action packed, just as Contagion was! It was also unpredictable and I think those 3 things are what adds up to the book being very gripping! There is always something going on and there is always the anxious wait to find out what is going to happen next!
I also really enjoyed the POV in Immunity. The multi POV is done very well. Each of the characters have their own unique voice within the writing of their sections. There was also a different POV that was separated from the main 4 which I really enjoyed. I won’t say who because that’s spoilers!

Now for the negatives. Which my main one is the genre! Contagion was a YA Horror with a Sci-Fi setting. It was creepy and atmospheric which just bought the story to life! Immunity on the other hand it just a Sci-Fi. It lost that Horror element which just gave it that push from a good book to a great book in Contagion! So that was disappointing.
Then there was the ending which I just felt was unsatisfying. There was a bit of a big action scene but it felt slightly flat and then it was all over and the happily ever after part was happening. I just feel like there could of been so much more to the conclusion but as it is it just felt too easy!

So overall I still enjoyed Immunity but it definitely didn’t live up to Contagion! If this was a book on it’s own it probably would of worked well but as a conclusion to Contagion it just wasn’t on the right level. I’m super curious to see what Erin Bowman releases next and hopefully they live up to the level of Contagion.

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

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

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Have you read Immunity?
Do you think it lives up to Contagion?

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Pages: 512
Publishers: Tor Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

So I may as well get my negative out of the road first and then we can look at the positives. The pacing & not being as action packed as expected was my 2 negatives. This book was fairly slow reading which was impacted by not only the pacing but with the minimal actual fast paced action.

Now as for the things I liked, firstly the word & the world development! The Shades of Magic world is very vivid & fleshed out. V.E. Schwab has a way of describing worlds that just come alive on the page and it’s one of my favourite things about her writing!

Then there was the POV. In this book we follow many POVs which is more than book 1 I believe. It’s been a long time since I read book 1 but I think it was only from 2 POV, I could be wrong though. Anyways, the multi POV in this one was done very well. The characters that we had many chapters from had a distinctive voice to the writing. They felt individual and the characters personality came through. I also just enjoyed that we had so many points of view. It added an interesting twist to the story line that we wouldn’t of gotten with just 1 or 2 POVs.

Next I really enjoyed the plot of this one! I hadn’t read a synopsis going in and I just loved this game/challenge aspect that was introduced. It was very different from book 1 but also had that underlying plot which has continued from book 1 which I enjoyed. Even though it didn’t fell super action packed the story itself was intriguing and I’m super keen to find out where this is all going!

Lastly we have the characters! Much like the world all the characters are very fleshed out and well developed. This was helped with having the multi POV as you get to learn about the characters from their own view point as well as the views of others. My favourite character is definitely Lila. She is just super interesting and stubborn and kinda badass and I love her! I do also of course love Kell but Lila is my fave.

So overall I really enjoyed this one and I’m keen to get to book 3, which I hoping will be a bit more action packed! Now I just need to read it soon rather than waiting a couple years like I did between books 1 & 2!

You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below. There is an alternate cover and. they are marked by a * next to the format. See the alternate cover below!

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

Booktopia
Box Set*
Paperback*
Hardcover*
Collector’s Edition*
Paperback
Collector’s Edition

Book Depository
Paperback
Paperback*
Hardcover*
Collector’s Edition*

Amazon Australia
Paperback
Hardcover*
Collector’s Edition*

Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? 
What did you rate it?
Did you enjoy it more than I did or did you get a similar feeling?

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

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: YA Mystery Horror
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019
Pages: 353
Publishers: Delacorte Press
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

So, firstly this book was just super disappointing for me! I’ve heard a fair amount of hype for this one & I expected to really enjoy this one! A dystopian sounding mystery? I was in! But overall it was just a nope for me in the end.

So for the thing that I did enjoy to start off with. I really enjoyed the setting of this one. It was super creepy & eerie feeling and it had so much potential if the rest of the story had followed through.

So mostly I think it was the writing that overall let this one down. To begin with the writing just felt super flat! I didn’t feel engaged in the story or hooked to it in anyway. Because of that I ended up not really caring what happened or about the characters. As for the characters I just couldn’t connect with them at all. Again they were just flat. It didn’t really feel like they had a personality or individuality that we were meant to connect with. The MC described the other characters & their personalities but it didn’t really follow through to what we actually saw of those characters.

Then there was the kind of romance I guess you could call it. You guys know that I’m not a huge romance fan but in this case I don’t believe it was just my dislike of YA romances that was an issue. The romance was just bad. The romance was just completely pointless and did not anything to the story. It felt forced and like the author was kinda only half going for it. To some degree it felt like the romance was just there to make sure you understood that the 2 girls were not straight.. I love a LGBT feature in a book but it wasn’t necessary to throw this not very thought out and forced romance in there just to prove the sexuality of the two characters. We believed it perfectly fine when the MC mentions it, it didn’t need to be anything more.

Then lastly I just want to talk about the plot. So, the plot was unpredictable but because the writing was so flat the ‘big reveals’ just left me thinking ‘oh, yeah okay’ and not ‘holy shit I didn’t see that coming’. There just wasn’t that anxious excitement of wanting to know what would come next.

So overall there was only one thing I really liked about this book. This one just really disappointed me! It had so much potential between the setting and the overall idea/synopsis of the world/plot but the writing just let it down majorly!

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

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

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eBook

Have you read Wilder Girls? 
What did you rate it?
Did you enjoy it more than I did or did you get a similar feeling?

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

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As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: As She Ascends
Series: Fallen Isles
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 11th, 2018
Pages: 550
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Mira, the Hopebearer

Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

Mira, the Dragonhearted

As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust.

Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed.

BEFORE SHE IGNITES REVIEW

So firstly, if you have seen my review for Before She Ignites then you may have noticed that I rated it 5 stars. However, I definitely believe that As She Ascends was a lot better than Before She Ignites. I wrote the review for Before She Ignites AGES ago, well before I really figured out my rating system. I’m also more critical now than I was when I reviewed Before She Ignites. Looking back now I would probably only rate Before She Ignites a 4 stars.

So, as I said I enjoyed As She Ascends even more than Before She Ignites! This book is full of unpredictable twists and turns that kept you guessing the entire book! As She Ascends also felt a lot more fast paced than Before She Ignites which made it more engaging and kept you wanting to know what would happen next.

I enjoyed how this series including As She Ascends plays with time & POVs. In this one we get the past from the POV of one of the side characters leading up to the events of Before She Ignites. Which I thought was quite interesting. I enjoyed learning more about them & it helped you develop a better understand on this world & that character.

I also enjoyed that we got even more into the political side of things in this book. I imagine it will be even more prominent in book 3, When She Reigns, which I can’t wait for. It helps develop the world and the background and adds another interest factor.

Also just the development in this book, from the plot to the characters everything to flowed and grew in this book. I love learning about this world which is developing more and more with each book. The character development as well was really well done. We learn more about the characters and see them develop together as a team & as people.

Lastly, from by review of Before She Ignites, I still think this book needs a map! This would be the perfect book for a map displaying all the islands & there placement. There is a fair amount of boat travel in this one and it would be nice to get a better idea of that journey with a map

So overall, there is so many elements in this book that I enjoyed. From the characters, to the world, to the writing. It’s just all done so damn well! I can’t wait to get my hands on Book 3, When She Reigns which I ordered about an hour ago! Hopefully it will arrive soon and I can jump straight in!

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

You could also use my affiliate links for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog!

Booktopia
Paperback
Hardcover

Book Depository
Paperback
Hardcover

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eBook
Hardcover
Paperback

Have you read As She Ascends? 
What did you rate it?
Are you keen for When She Reigns?!

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

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!

MateAThon 🇦🇺 Round 2 💫 Announcement!

It’s time for Round 2 of MateAThon! MateAThon is an Australian themed ReadAThon but you don’t have to be Aussie to participate!

Also, welcome our fellow Aussie Co-Hosts and follow them on Social Media!
Sammi
Blog: One Bookish Girl
Insta: OneBookishGirl
Twitter: Sam_BookishGirl
Annie
Insta: Read3rZ_revu
Twitter: Read3rZ
Sam
Blog: She Writes About It
Insta: She Writes About Books
Twitter: SamanthaSWAI
Caitlin
Insta: TakeALookAtMyBook

WHEN: starting at 12:01am on the 14th and finishing at midnight on the 23rd of October in your timezone!

If you are planning on participating please use the hashtag #MateAThon on social media so we can see your posts!!

Reading Challenges

Firstly, you are allowed to use 1 book for up to 2 challenges but no more than 2.

Challenge 1: Read a book by an Aussie author

Challenge 2: Read a book with the letters M A T E in the title

Challenge 3: Read a book with Green & Gold (or Yellow) on the cover

Challenge 4: Read a book recommended by an Aussie

Challenge 5: Read a book with a map

Challenge 6: Read a 2019 release

Challenge 7: Read a book with a title that is 4 or more words

Team Competition!

This round we are having Teams for the ReadAThon! You do not have to join the teams but it’s just a fun bonus!

The teams are based on Australian Animals of course!

Team Captains!

Dingo: Eliza @ Dusk Angel Reads
Koala: Sammi @ One Bookish Girl & Sam @ She Writes About Books
Wallaby: Annie @ Read3rZ
Kookaburra: Caitlin @ TakeALookAtMyBook

How to earn points!

Sign up HERE & you will be assigned a team.

1 point – Per page read
10 points – Per reading challenge completed
5 points – Per twitter sprint participated in
5 points – Per Instagram Challenge completed

After you are assigned a team you will need to add how many pages you read each day of the ReadAThon & also when you complete a reading challenge! This is how you will earn the majority of your points, so make sure you keep it up to date to help your team out!
You can do that HERE!

Giveaways!

I will be hosting some bookmark giveaways throughout the ReadAThon on both Instagram & Twitter! So make sure you follow both & turn on Twitter notifications so you don’t miss out!

Instagram Challenge

Make sure you use #MateAThonIG on Instagram when you post your challenges so that your points go towards your team!

Social Media!

Again, don’t forget to use #MateAThon when posting on Social Media!

Twitter

Instagram

Copy of Copy of Blog titles

Are you planning on participating?!
Let me know what you’re most looking forward to on your TBR!

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

All the links!

Dusk Angel Reads:
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 Dusk Angel Reads Instagram
Goodreads

Dusk Angel Store:
Buy Candles, Book Sleeves, Sprayed Edged Books & more on our website!
www.duskangelstore.com
Dusk Angel Store Instagram
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