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!

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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!

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The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Devouring Gray
Series: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Genre: YA Diverse Fantasy
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 368
Publishers: Titan Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

This was a bloody amazing debut! This book was an intense & creepy read that I just couldn’t put down! In the beginning this book was a little confusing. You are thrown straight in with no background which usually would irritate me but I think it was done really well. There was enough that left you curious & interested. Then slowly you are given background and this world blossoms around you.

This book was extremely atmospheric! You couldn’t help being engrossed in this world and the setting. It was creepy, vivid and very well developed. The setting & atmosphere of this book was probably my favourite part of the book. The plot and characters were great but the atmosphere is what really made this book for me.

The plot was very unpredictbale! There were plenty of twists and turns which kept me gripped to this story the whole time! I just didn’t want to put it down .

All of the characters were very well developed as well! They all felt fleshed out and realistic. I also really enjoyed the multi POV of this one! Even though there was no direct indication of whose POV you were reading from at the time there was no confusion. Each of the POV felt very individual to the character, with their own personality.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for book 2! Everything was very well developed, from the setting to the characters. The book was gripping and I just couldn’t put it down!

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Wicked Fox by Kat Cho 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Wicked Fox
Series: Gumiho
Author: Kat Cho
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 25th, 2019
Pages: 429
Publishers: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway. 

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

So, you may be able to tell by my rating, but I didn’t love this book. One of the main reasons for that was the writing.

Firstly, there were times in this book were the writing felt super rushed. This resulted in some parts being confusing and hard to follow. I found myself rereading sections to try and understand what was actually happening. It also felt jumpy sometimes too. The writing just didn’t flow nicely and it felt choppy and rushed and confusing.

I also don’t think Miyoung was written very well. Jihoon was done well though. He had personality & felt fleshed out whereas Miyoung’s character just felt 2 dimensional. There was no distinguishing features to her and barely any personality. She just felt like a cardboard cut out of a typical YA female character.

Then there was the romance which was straight up instalove. It was also very predictable and felt forced. At times it felt like the romance was in there just because there had to be a romance. I never felt an actual connection between the characters but that could be the result of Miyoung’s very flat personality.

And speaking of predictability I felt like majority of the book was predictable. I’m pretty sure I guessed majority of the plot points/twists that were in there. Also, some of the plot twists were kinda ridiculous. It felt like the author was just throwing them in there for the sake of having plot twists.

Lastly, I want to know more about this world & the mythical creatures! I understand that the book is based around Gumiho, so there was plenty of talk about it but I wanted more. There were other mythical creatures/beings mentioned but it was just in passing. There was barley any substance or detail given about them. I guess this might be fine if you grew up in the culture that heard about these in fairytales and such as kids, but what about the rest of us?

Actually, lastly some advice for the characters. TELL THE FREAKING TRUTH FOR ONCE!!! The characters drove me mad constantly lying and covering stuff up. Just the tell truth, get it out of the road and move the hell on. Holding it in is just going to make shit worse when the truth does come out, because it will.

So, overall I didn’t love this book. The writing just fell flat in a lot of places for me. I can see how this would be entertaining to someone who loves tropey romances but that is just not me, at all. I will not be continuing onto book 2 of the duology when it releases.

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She Be Damned by M.J. Tjia – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: She Be Damned
Author: 
M.J. Tjia
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publication Date: Aug 1st, 2017
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Publishers: Pantera Press
Rating:
4 star

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London, 1863: prostitutes in Waterloo area are turning up dead, their sexual organs mutilated and removed. When another girl goes missing, fears grow that the killer may have claimed their latest victim. The police are at a loss and so it falls to courtesan and professional detective Heloise Chancey to investigate. With the assistance of her trusty Chinese maid, Amah Li Leen, Heloise inches closer to the truth. But when Amah is implicated in the brutal plot, Heloise must reconsider who she can trust before the killer strikes again.

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So,  I do really like this cover but honestly, I like the cover by Legend Press/Legend Times Group a lot more! I will put a picture below. On goodreads, it says that copy won’t release until July 2018, but you can already purchase it through Book Depository! Links at the bottom of the post.

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I really enjoyed the writing of this book! It sucked me in completely!
I did start this book a while ago but I only got 15% into it and I put it down. I was in a bit of a reading slump and decided to put it down and read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban illustrated edition first in case my slump affected how I felt about this book. But after jumping back into this book yesterday I flew through it!!
** The writing is very detailed and very graphic. I would not recommend this to someone that is uneasy with graphic content but it didn’t worry me. This book talks a lot about sex, violence, horrible stuff happening to people and has a fair bit of negative language directed towards some of the characters. So just be aware of that before going into this book**

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The plot was also amazing! It again drags you in. I wouldn’t exactly say it was action packed but it had an awesome balance of action and information which is perfect for a mystery.
Besides that, I can’t really talk about the plot as it’s a mystery and I don’t want to spoil anything!

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Heloise is an awesome character. She is so intelligent and does not let being a female hold her down. She still gets in and gets shit done and doesn’t wait around for the males to do it.
I didn’t like the short romance of sorts that happened. I didn’t love the guy that was the love interest. He actually kind of annoyed me.
Amah was an awesome character. She was kinda sassy and sarcastic and I loved it.

There were tonnes of other more minor characters but as a lot of them are possible suspects, you automatically kind of don’t like them just in case they are the murderer. So I can’t really say if I actually like them or not because of that!
I hope that makes sense!

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So I did really enjoy a majority of the book but there was one thing that made it a bit difficult to read. That was that I had such a similar feeling to Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I recently read that book and loved it. There were a lot of similarities between the two. We have a female, set in the past and they are battling against being looked down upon due to their sex. The victims of the murders are prostitutes in both books and the way they have been murdered in similar ways too. In SBD they have their sexual organs cut out and in SJTR the victims have different organs removed after they are killed. So as you can see, I felt a strong similarity! Not that that is really bad as I loved SJTR, but it did get slightly confusing at times when thinking about the events in the book.

So yeah, overall I enjoyed the plot, I loved the writing and the MC was awesome!

I don’t know if this book will be part of a series. The book kind of ended off as if there will be a second book, but it doesn’t say so on Goodreads. However, it is called ‘She Be Damned: A Heloise Chancey Mystery’ which makes me think it will be part of a series like the Poirot and Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie.
I hope there will be a second book as I would 100% pick that up!



I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Pantera Press NetGalley for this opportunCheck out

check out the Pantera Press Website where you can purchase or get details on the book!

**Cover 1 is the first cover shown above and Cover 2 is the 2nd cover shown.**

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Nevernight
Author: 
Jay Kristoff
Series Name: The Nevernight Chronicles
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Pages: 427 (Paperback)
Publishers: Harper Voyager
Rating:
3 and a half star

Blog Titles

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

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Just something I want to say before getting into this review. Alot of people have said that this book is a YA book and I do not agree with this. Some people do say it is Adult, but most say it is YA. Considering that there is 2 very detailed sex scenes and MANY detailed death scenes as well I do not think that this is YA because of that. Yes our main character is a 17 year old but that isn’t enough to purely call this YA. Anyway moving on!


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I really like the cover of this book. I don’t fully understand the bird on the cover but I get all the little illustrations within the bird that are shown. I also like that the front cover has one of the suns, the spine has another and the back has the last one. I think that is a cool idea! I also like the quote on the front that comes up in the book a few times!

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The writing was pretty good, it was easy to understand majority of the time. I like that sometimes Jay talks directly to the reader through the text, it adds something interesting. But my favourite thing is the foot notes! They give extra info and some of them are really funny too haha.

One thing that annoyed and confused me at the start was that this book swaps back and forth from the past and the present. The present is in normal text and the past in italics, so you can tell the difference. So that it swaps back and forward annoyed me but at first I didn’t know what was going on because there is nothing to say ‘this is the past!!’ and at first I thought we were following two different people and  it took a chapter or two for some in the book to acknowledge that both sections were from the point of view of Mia.

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I enjoyed this plot but it wasn’t amazing. I liked the idea and the world but it didn’t wow me. Thats the main reason I didn’t give it a higher rating. I don’t know why exactly I didn’t love it, I just didn’t. So I honestly don’t have that much to say about it.

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Mia was an enjoyable character and I liked her personality and her choices throughout the book. Tric was a interesting character and I liked learning about his past. Ash, I liked at the start but….. Moving on from her so I don’t spoil anything. Carlotta was an interesting character too and I enjoyed her. Hush I was iffy with from the start and I kinda suspected something from the start but it turns out I was wrong about that one! Jess I disliked from the start, I like that right at the end she put aside her hate to help everyone, but besides that I didn’t like her. Osrik just seemed kinda like a puppy dog to me, following whatever Jess said haha. This next bit is spoilery, but I can’t write it anyway that isn’t spoilery, so the spoiler part is in purple text. So Mia basically killed Osrik and I didn’t get that at first until it shows that Mia planned to actually kill Jess out of revenge for her killing Letti but that just didn’t go as planned, so that was kinda alright I guess.  It did kinda annoy me that after Mia finds out that it actually wasn’t Jess or Osrik that killed Letti that there wasn’t even a second thought to the fact that she killed Osrik without any reason. Yet when she came to killing an innocent and refused there was such a big deal about it. I just felt like it should have at least been mentioned. 

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So overall I enjoyed this but didn’t love it. I had a few issues with it and that is why I only gave it a 3 and a half star rating. I will consider reading Godsgrave, the second book, when it comes out but it’s not high on my radar.


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Lifeblood (Everlife #2) by Gena Showalter – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Lifeblood
Author: 
Gena Showalter
Series Name: Everlife
Genre: Fantasy YA
Publication Date: February 28th, 2017
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Teen
Rating:

4 and a half Star

Goodreads Synopsis:

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

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You can find my spoiler free review for Firstlife HERE!

*Thank you to Harlequin Teen & NetGalley – I received an eBook in return for an honest review*

Checkout the book at Harlequin Teens website! Where you can also purchase the ebook or print copies!


Cover Art:

I love that this cover matches the first book so well! They are both gorgeous! I love the hourglass with Troika in the bottom of the glass with I’m assuming the Lifeblood spilling from it! It’s beautiful and fits the books so well.

Writing:

I had a few issues with the writing in this first book that were better in this book! I really enjoyed the writing in this one! I still love the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I didn’t mention this in my review of firstlife, but I love that they add in messages that were sent between characters, set out like IMs! I love the additions of things like this in books, it just adds that bit extra to the story, rather than just reading about the messages in a paragraph like most books do.

I love that the descriptions of each of the places in Troika had enough info to set a basic idea what the places looked like but also allowed for the reader’s imagination to do the rest. I really enjoy that in books!

Plot:

I love the plot of this one, maybe even a little bit more than the first book! I liked that we got to explore more of Troika in this book! A lot was going on in this book! It was action packed and barely ever slow! Basically the entire book you are confused as to who is actually trustworthy as Ten’s trying to figure it out herself and it definitely keeps you on the edge!

Characters:

The first 3/4 of the book I was still on the fence about what side Killian was on! It was driving me wild, but in the end, it’s actually clear, I hope! I still really like Ten, I liked seeing her develop as a person in this book! I liked that we got to see Sloan again and that there was a change in her! We met some awesome new characters that I really enjoyed getting to know like Meredith and Levi. There was of course characters that I enjoyed but I didn’t like as people in the story, I won’t say who as I don’t want to slip in any spoilers!

Overall:

So I gave this book 1/2 more star than Firstlife and that’s because the few little issues I had with the first book were better in this book! I loved the plot and the characters in this book! The cover is gorgeous and the writing was really good! I really have nothing to fault with this book and I hate that I will have to wait around a year for the next book!

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