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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

The Tea Dragon Festival 📚 Spoiler Free Review 💫 Blogtober #20

Title: The Tea Dragon Festival
Series Name:Tea Dragon #1
Author: Katie O’Neill
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 17th, 2019
Pages: 136
Publishers: Oni Press
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

The Tea Dragon Society: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Spoiler Free Review
The Tea Dragon Festival: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Tea Dragon Tapestry: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Spoiler Free Review to come

These books are just AMAZING!

Just because something comes easily to you, does not mean it has no value.

Firstly the diversity is amazing! This one is set well before the events in The Tea Dragon Society and does not focus on the same characters or location. So we have new diversity being featured including someone who is deaf. I love that the the book features sign language in this one! The author didn’t have to include the actual sign langugae & translation but she did it so smoothly that it just works naturally and that amazing.

I love the messages that are portrayed in this graphic novel series. It doesn’t come across as a motivational kind of book but that is really how it feels sometimes. The author always includes some message that makes you think and that can relate to the real world.

I enjoyed learning about a new species in this one as well as we meet a full size dragon. The world is always being expanded and it feels very well developed and explained even though the books are under 150 pages each.

Of course I have to mention the artwork as it’s gorgeous and so colourful! I’d love to get some of those chapter headings as stickers or something as they are just beautiful!

Overall I really enjoyed The Tea Dragon Festival! The books are gorgeous, feature amazing diversity, always have a really good message & they are just cute and wholesome reads. I highly recommend giving this series a go as I simply can’t fault anything about it!

Let’s Chat

Have you read The Tea Dragon Festival? Did you love it as much as me?


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

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Hardcover

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Hardcover

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Hardcover
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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

Salt to the Sea 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #16

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 2nd, 2016
Pages: 391
Publishers: Philomel Books
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

While the Titanic and Lusitania are both well-documented disasters, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known January 30, 1945 sinking in the Baltic Sea by a Soviet submarine of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army. The ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers — the intended capacity was approximately 1,800 — and more than 9,000 people, including 5,000 children, lost their lives.

Sepetys (writer of ‘Between Shades of Gray’) crafts four fictionalized but historically accurate voices to convey the real-life tragedy. Joana, a Lithuanian with nursing experience; Florian, a Prussian soldier fleeing the Nazis with stolen treasure; and Emilia, a Polish girl close to the end of her pregnancy, converge on their escape journeys as Russian troops advance; each will eventually meet Albert, a Nazi peon with delusions of grandeur, assigned to the Gustloff decks.

This book is absolutely amazing! This is actually my reread of this one as I did listen to the audiobook a couple years ago and loved it then too. However, I didn’t end up reviewing it last time so I decided to do it this time!
Firstly I highly recommend the audiobook! It is amazingly done & has full cast narration. It’s definitely worth the listen.

This is a very emotional and hard hitting book. I spent the last couple chapters with tears in my eyes & actually had to put the book down twice to pull myself together. It is written in a way that you have an instant connection with these characters (well most of them) and you just want them to get to freedom. Of course this is based off WWII and a lot of people did die, so it’s something you know is likely coming in the book but it doesn’t make it easier to read when it does.

I love and care for Florian, Emilia & Joana so much and genuinely hate Alfred as a person and a character. These characters feel so fleshed out and you learn their stories & their history. It makes it hard to not think of them as real people.

This book also drags you in and won’t let go. I didn’t want to put it down as I just wanted to find out what happens next. It’s also very unpredictable. Just when you think everything is going alright the shit hits the fan again and you are left in shock because of it.

I also love that the author kept the book as historically accurate as she could. Not only did she do that but she also explained it all and told you what really happened and what was fiction. I love that this also focuses on a lesser known event that was extremely deadly. I wish more YA books focused on specific lesser known events so as to educate readers.

Overall I highly recommend this book. Of course it is a WWII story and it’s extreme and hard hitting. There is of course the obvious trigger warnings for a war book such as violence, death, children suffering, etc. but also, please be aware that there is references & discussion of rape in this one. However I think it is an important read and one that needs to be discussed & promoted more.

Let’s Chat

Have you read Salt to the Sea? What is a similar book that I should also read?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
There is an alternate cover for the Paperbacks & a second Hardcover available which I’ll pop below.

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

Book Depository
Paperback
Hardcover
Hardcover (brown cover)

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Paperback
Paperback (Brown Cover)
Hardcover
Hardcover (Brown Cover)

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eBook
Hardcover
Paperback (Brown Cover)


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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

A Song Below Water 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #16

Title: A Song Below Water
Series Name: A Song Below Water
Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 288
Publishers: Tor Teen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

I was highly anticipating this book before I picked it up! A siren story with POC MCs & Black Lives Matter themes?! Sounded like the perfect mix of contemporary issues & fantasy elements. What could go wrong? Well, turns out a fair bit. I easily have more negative points than positive and while I did have a good time actually reading it and it dealt with some good topics the overall execution just wasn’t there.

So as I said I did enjoy the discussion on the Black Lives Matter topics. I enjoyed that the author blended the hate towards the black community in with the hate towards the siren community. I’ve also seen some own voice reviews that claim the book has good representation, so that’s a positive as well even if it’s not something I can directly comment on.

However, that and the general enjoyability of the audiobook experience is really the only reason why this book got the rating that it did. It isn’t necessarily bad but it could have been done SOO much better.

Firstly for the negative side of things, there is basically no world building or background given at all. You are just thrown in and are just meant to understand what is going on when really you have no idea. There were also a general lack of explanation for a lot of aspects and also a fair few references to things, events, etc. that just weren’t explained. As if you are magically meant to know the back story and understand the references.

The main thing that bugged me with A Song Below Water is that it was advertised as a Siren Story but kinda wasn’t. Yes it started out that way but after a certain point Tav (the siren) basically doesn’t matter anymore and it’s all about Effie. The story turns into Effie trying to find herself and figure out what she is. What about Tav? And the siren hate? And her accidentally exposing her voice? And basically everything siren related?
Also slight spoiler but when Effie’s species is revealed it’s one we basically hadn’t heard of and have no idea what it is but everyones just like yeah cool she is a ….. And that’s it. We are just supposed to be like ‘yeah, makes total sense’ and move on. Prime example of lack of explanation.

I did start reading this book physically but found myself pushing to get through it due to simply not feeling any connection towards Effie or Tav. I like Tav but there was not real connection there and the characters had no depth. They felt very flat and one dimensional which makes it hard to connect to them as they have basically no personality. So, I ended up swapping to the audiobook which definitely made it easier to read.

Overall I am not particularly impressed with A Song Below Water. This book had so much potential but it just didn’t quite hit the mark. I’m not sure if I will end up picking up book 2. I’m kinda curious but also not really that curious, so I don’t know. If the audiobook pops up on Scribd I may end up giving it a go but I don’t think I will go out of my way to buy it.

Let’s Chat

Have you read A Song Below Water? What were your thoughts?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
There is an alternate cover for the Paperbacks which I will leave down below!

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

Book Depository
Hardcover
Paperback

Angus & Robertson
Hardcover

Amazon Australia
Hardcover
eBook


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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

All the Stars and Teeth 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #7

Title: All the Stars and Teeth
Series Name: All the Stars and Teeth
Author: Adalyn Grace
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 4th, 2020
Pages: 368
Publishers: Imprint
Rating:

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Dark blue background with spine bones up either side of cover. There is a Boat on waves in the bottom left, Mermaid tail on the bottom right, skull surrounded by octopus tentacles in top left & two hands holding a crown in top right. In middle left & right is an identical decorative sword.

All the Stars and Teeth was amazing! This whole story and world is extremely unique and refreshing. Majority of the plot was unpredictable and it kept me on my toes. I also loved the pacing as it was mostly fast paced that made the books quick and engaging to read but there were also those few slower sections thrown in to really concentrate on world and characters.

While I don’t usually enjoy romance and while I didn’t particularly care one way or anything for the romance in this book I also didn’t hate it. It did feel natural and developed well rather than falling prey to bad tropes.

I really enjoyed the characters and most of them were very fleshed out and felt realistic. I also loved that most of the major characters were badasses and I was rooting for all of them.

The characters and the magic system is really what invested me in this book. I also really enjoyed learning about the backstory and building up the world. Everything was very well described & atmospheric.

Overall I really enjoyed All the Stars and Teeth and I am keen to get my hands on All the Tides of Fate which is set to release February 2nd 2021. I’m also very keen to see what worlds/magic systems that Adalyn Grace creates next after the All the Stars and Teeth duology is over. This one was so unique that I’m hyped to see what will be next!

Let’s Chat

Have you read All The Stars and Teeth? What were your thoughts? Are you keen for All the Tides of Fate?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
There is an alternate cover for the Paperbacks which I will leave down below!

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

Book Depository
Harrdcover
Paperback

Angus & Robertson
Hardcover
Paperback

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eBook
Hardcover
Paperback


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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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

The Bone Thief 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #3

Title: The Bone Thief
Author: Breeana Shields
Series: The Bone Charmer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 26th, 2020
Pages: 375
Publishers: Page Street Kids
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A deft exploration of the weight of grief and cost of revenge, Breeana Shields’s Bone Charmer duology reaches its spine-tingling conclusion in this high-octane fantasy-thriller.

Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.

As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.

The Bone Thief Book Cover

I absolutely loved The Bone Charmer and you can find my spoiler free review for it HERE!

I think the thing I love the most about this series is the characters and the world. The magic system is extremely unique and I love learning about it and the world in general. The world building is amazing in this series and I find it very atmospheric especially when the MC is back in her home town. I enjoyed that we got to discover more of world in this book and explore new places.

As I said before I loved the characters but especially the main character. This book really shows the main characters struggles and her growing throughout the story because of what she goes through. I also really enjoyed how well her confusion was written when it comes to her dealing with the plot of book 1 (no spoilers here). I would have been disappointed if she just went straight back to life as usual as if nothing happened. So I’m glad that was done well. I do also enjoy the side characters and they are all very well fleshed out and realistic. Also I love the focus on friendship and really enjoyed the friend group in this book! There was a bit of romance but it was done well too given the circumstances. So, I’m not mad.

I also found this book extremely gripping. I read it in just a couple sittings and couldn’t put it down. It was very action packed and hooked me from the very beginning. There was also a good combination of fast paced action and slower paced world building & character development. Which made for an enjoyable experience.

Overall I really enjoyed The Bone Thief and book 1, The Bone Charmer, and I highly recommend checking them out! While I would love to read more following these characters or set in this world I also like that it’s a duology as that isn’t too common in YA Fantasy. I am also very keen to read Breeana Shields next book The Splendor which is set to release Fall 2021!


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

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

Book Depository
Hardcover

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Hardcover

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Hardcover
eBook

Let’s Chat!

Have you read Breeana Shields first series, Poison’s Kiss?? Should I read it? What are your thoughts?


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Reviews

The Price Guide to the Occult 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Price Guide to the Occult
Author: Lesley Walton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 13th, 2018
Pages: 272
Publishers: Candlewick Press
Rating:

3.5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

The Price Guide to the Occult book cover. Black background with lime green title surrounded by fern leaves & vines of the same colour. Three of the fern leaves have red on the tips.

Trigger Warning: Child abuse & self harm

I was pleasantly surprised by The Price Guide to the Occult. I previously attempted The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and couldn’t get into it at all so this was a surprise that I enjoyed this one.

Firstly, the story was a bit choppy and confusing at times. Especially when we swap time frames and jump back to her childhood without any warning at all. This led to a bit of confusion until I realised what was going on. I did enjoy that we had those glimpses into the past as they set the picture of what Fern, the MC’s mother was really like. However, I do wish they indicated that change somehow in the book by maybe putting a date at the top or even Nor’s age at the time of the event. This confusion was also present when Nor was having a dream. It took a couple pages to realise that she was not doing these things and that it was a dream..

The other small thing I didn’t like was the romance. It felt forced and a little flat and I don’t feel like it was really necessary. It would of been a lot more enjoyable if they had the focus on the friendship between Savvy & Nor rather than the romance between Nor and another character. Also what the heck was that random bit of love triangle thrown in at the end?? I get that if you are in a situation where you believe you’re about to die that you may do something unexpected but it just didn’t make sense and added absolutely nothing to the plot.

The Price Guide to the Occult was an enjoyable, quick, fun & easy read. It’s super short but packs a lot in and is fairly action packed so I found myself flying through it. I think I read it in basically 2 sittings which is quick for me even for a book just under 300 pages. I was also engaged the entire time and didn’t want to put it down. There were a couple things I didn’t understand but overall and enjoyable reading experience.

I loved that we got a prologue that really set the scene and explained the world and magic systems. For such a short book I feel like we got a tonne of world building and explanation about the magic. There were a few things that were never explained and I feel like this book was set up to have a sequel where we got more explanation but alas, it is only a standalone.

The ending was also slightly disappointing. There was tonnes of build up to this big ending and then when it came to defeating the bad guy it just kinda happened and then that was it. It wasn’t draw out and there wasn’t some big battle or anything. There was like 2 lines and it was all over. So the ending definitely felt a tad lacking compared to the rest of the plot.

Most of the major characters like Nor, Savvy, Judd and a couple others felt fleshed out and we got some background from them however there were a fair few side characters that were talked about but weren’t really given any depth. They were kind of just a name and that’s it.

Overall while this book was enjoyable there were a few things that definitely could have been improved. I feel like this book would have made more of an impact if it had been a duology rather than a standalone. There would have been more time for explanation and also a better conclusion possibly. However, that is not the case and while I did enjoy the reading experience this isn’t a favourite.

Let’s Chat

Have you read The Price Guide to the Occult?
Did you enjoy it?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below. There is an alternate cover which I will leave below and those links will feature a * beside the format.

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

Book Depository
Paperback*
Hardcover

Angus & Robertson
Paperback*
Hardcover

Amazon Australia
Paperback
Hardcover
eBook

Paperback cover

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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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!

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Reviews

Fable 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Fable
Series Name: Fable #1
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 1st, 2020
Pages: 368
Publishers: Wednesday Books
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Cover shows half the face of a girl with red curly hair & lots of freckles. Her eyes are blue and have the reflection of a boat in them. “Trader. Fighter. Surviver” is quoted on the book.

This book gripped me from the very first chapter! I absolutely loved and flew through it. Fable is incredibly written and was just overall amazingly done. It was completely unpredictable, fast paced & engaging.

I loved the characters, especially the MC, Fable, who was a badass but also just felt so real and developed and grew amazingly throughout the book. I also really enjoyed Willa. She was sarcastic and didn’t take shit but also was super caring.

I enjoyed that we had some diverse characters mixed in. There was POC (hinted anyways) & LGBT+ rep in the book which is always nice. All the characters just felt well rounded & real.

The world building in this book was amazing. Young described the world so vividly that it made it so easy to imagine. The magic system is also very interesting and unique. I would love to learn more about what’s behind the magic, so fingers crossed we get that in book 2!

Overall I really enjoyed everything about this book and don’t have a negative point to give it! I can’t wait for book 2 which is set to release March 16th 2021. Also, can we just talk about how stunning the covers are for these books! Like damn. Usually I am not a fan of books with people on the cover but these are just amazing.

Let’s Chat

Are you keen to read Fable when it releases? Have you read anything else by Adrienne Young? What did you think?


Huge thanks to Wednesday Books & NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of Fable in exchange for an honest review

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Serpent & Dove 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Serpent & Dove
Series Name: Serpent & Dover #1
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Pages: 513
Publishers: HarperTeen
Rating: 

4 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Serpent & Dove cover: Black background with a heap of black items in the middle including leaves & a bird. On top is a gold snake. “Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.” is quoted at the top

So let’s start with the main things I disliked. Which was the romance. I totally understand the point of the romance being a main part of the plot but I’m just personally not a huge fan of books with romance as the actual plot. I don’t mind it being on the side with the main focus something else but in this case it definitely took over the book. That is simply a personal preference though. The romance was done well but it just wasn’t my fave part.

The second thing I slightly disliked was that the middle of the book was fairly slow for me. The middle was where the romance was really a focus and because I wasn’t the hugest fan of the romance it just felt slow. I wanted more action and more going on but that just didn’t happen.

Now onto the things I liked. Firstly I did like the characters and also the side characters. I think they were all very detailed and fleshed out. They also grew and developed throughout the book. You saw a lot of struggle with right and wrong for the characters in this book and I think it was all done really well.

I did really enjoy the beginning and the end. At first I was super hooked and then it got slow and then towards the end I was super hooked again. So it was a bit of a rollercoaster of good & boring but overall I did like it and I did engage me for the most part.

Lastly I did enjoy the magic system and I liked the world and setting. However we could of done with a little more detail on the world but hopefully we get that in book 2!

Overall, I did enjoy the book but there were a couple things that I think could have been done better. I will be picking up book 2, Blood & Honey, and I have already pre-ordered it actually. However it was not my favourite. I’m hoping for a bit more from book 2, so fingers crossed.

Let’s Chat

Have you read Serpent & Dove?
What were your thoughts?
Have you pre-ordered Blood & Honey?


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

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

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Nocturna 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Nocturna
Series Name: A Forgery of Magic
Author: Maya Motayne
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 471
Publishers: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating:

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Nocturna Cover: Entire cover is Red & Orange tones. Background appears to be square tiles with a round section of mosaic like tiles in the centre. A crown & mask is made in tiles around the title. “A faceless thief. A desperate prince. A darkness unleashed.” is quoted at the bottom of the cover

Nocturna was super engaging from the very beginning! I did not want to put this one down and enjoyed every moment. It also flowed very well which made for an easy and quick read.

I absolutely loved the characters in Nocturna. They were all very fleshed out and developed amazingly throughout the book. I loved reading the struggles Alfie faced throughout the book which made him feel even more real. Both Alfie & Finn had well written POVs but I loved reading from Finn the most as she is sarcastic and fun to read from. I also enjoyed her backstory which added to the love of reading from her POV.

I loved the world building and detail given to the magic system in this book. The unique magic system was probably my favourite aspect of the book. I love that everyone with a propio magic had such a unique ability. They were all very interesting to learn about and I especially like Finn’s ability to steal faces & Alfie’s ability to adapt his magic to other peoples. Both were interesting and unique abilities.

Overall I loved the magic system and really enjoyed Finn as a main character. Alfie was also amazing but I just loved Finn! Nocturna is very unique and engaging. I loved reading this one and I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2, Oculta.

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Have you read Nocturna? What were your thoughts? Have you pre-ordered Oculta.


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From Fire & Shadows 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: From Fire and Shadows
Series Name: A Tale of Six Sources
Author: J.F. Baptista
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 15th, 2020
Pages: 313
Publishers: BooksGoSocial
Rating: (I do not give ratings to DNF books)

Goodreads Synopsis

A girl with a dangerous power.
A warrior they call the shadow of death.
A world divided and slowly dying.

Six-year-old Theodora grew up at the House, a place for girls born without power. Abandoned as a baby, she has no memory of her past beyond the melody that invades her dreams. So when an ancient presence starts whispering in her ear, she answers.

The reward is fire; the price is the destruction of the only life she has ever known. Yet from the loss comes a chance at a better future… if she can learn to control a power that no one seems to understand.

Across the ocean, Death’s Arm warrior Kai struggles with the changes forcing him out of the shadows. With the neglect of those in power breeding dissent, he is called to do his job as their occasional assassin: cut it at the root.

But when a strange restlessness makes him question an order for the first time… he finds himself on the path he never wanted, but can no longer avoid. After all, he may be the only one capable of stopping what is coming—a war where death is just the beginning.

From Fire & Shadows cover: Shows vines & leaves over a dark background

I am DNFing at 17%.

I have 3 main issues with this book. Well 3 & a overall, I am bored….

Firstly, the sentences do not flow. They feel very choppy which makes it hard to follow and difficult to read as there is just no flow to it. I am confused as to what is going on because it is so jumpy. It feels like I am just missing something.

Next, there has been basically no world building (besides names of towns really), explanation of the magic or really plot since the first few paragraphs. Nothing is really happening to interest me in continuing and I keep finding myself putting it down and getting distracted by other things because it’s just not gripping me in any way.

Lastly, the characters feel very 2 Dimensional. I feel like I don’t know the main 2 characters at all and it’s been 17%. Things are happening and they are talking but I feel no personality to them at all. Which is another reason that the book isn’t gripping me. I couldn’t care less what happens to the characters because nothing has made me like them as they just feel like cardboard cut outs of people.

Overall, this book sounded really interesting but it’s just not gripping me enough to make me continue. At this point I would be forcing myself and I just do not do that to myself. Reading is for enjoyment, so unless I am enjoying it, I don’t keep reading.

Let’s Chat

Have you read From Fire & Shadows? What were your thoughts?


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

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

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

Amazon Australia
eBook


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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!