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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.

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House of Dragons 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: House of Dragons
Series Name: House of Dragons
Author: Jessica Cluess
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 12th, 2020
Pages: 448
Publishers: Random House Books for Young Readers
Rating:

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call….

THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.

THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.

THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.

THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.

THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

Dark Blue cover with red smoke coming from bottom left corner. 5 swords crossing in the middle with different cover handles (Gold, Purple, Green, Blue & Red) that are shaped as different dragons. “Win at all costs” quote at the top.

I absolutely loved House of Dragons! This book is incredibly written and was extremely gripping! I simply didn’t want to put this book down.

Firstly, I love the diverse range of characters we see in the book! Every character, even the side characters were very well written and fleshed out amazingly. The book follows 5 points of view and every single POV had it’s on personality and feel to it. They also all developed and grew really well throughout the book. I loved reading every POV even if I was rooting for some characters more than others!

I really liked how detailed the world building was and how much description went into the magic system. Of course there is still some mystery but I liked how much detail we got and it made sense for the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed House of Dragons & I can’t wait for book 2! I love how House of Dragons ended but it also ended on a bit of cliffhanger, so I’m super keen to see what comes next.

Let’s Chat

Have you read House of Dragons? What were your thoughts? Have you read any of Jessica Cluess’s other books? If so let me know your thoughts as I’m very curious.


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The Celestial Gate 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Celestial Gate
Author: Avital Dicker
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 9th, 2020
Pages: 346
Publishers: BooksGoSocial
Rating:

2.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The world is about to end. There is only one way to save it. But the price could be her life.

The paths of three teenagers cross at the heart of a large-scale terror attack in which their parents are injured.

In order to save themselves, they will have to give up everything they know and love.

Jerusalem is burning and they are trapped. They have no choice but to follow a mysterious map and escape into a network of secret passages under the old city, where they are forced to fight for their lives against dangerous armed terrorists.

Time is running out and the only way to save themselves and the city is to find the Celestial Gate.

To accomplish this, they will have to overcome their differences and find the meaning of the secret bond that connects between the three of them, rooted in a previous life and in ancient history.

Will they manage to find the secret gate and save the city from death and destruction?

Book Cover: Three silhouettes standing in an archway with a vast city on a hill showing through the other side.

This will not be the most positive review… I get more and more confused about this book every time I reread the synopsis honestly!!

So, let’s get the one good thing (which was the only reason I kept reading this book) out of the road first. That is that the book is very fast paced & quick to read. Yep, thats my positive thing.

Now, onto the less positive things. Firstly, and the main thing that I simply do not understand is the synopsis of this book! I received this book through NetGalley and had never heard of it before hand, so the synopsis was what I read and what I thought sounded interesting. HOWEVER, I have now discovered that the book & the synopsis are BARELY similar… First off, the events that are mentioned in the synopsis do not even play out until 35% through the book. Which was weird to start with as why didn’t the synopsis tell us about the start of the book & the basic idea of the world instead of details about events that happen around the middle of the book?? Confused. Then there is the fact that the synopsis is inaccurate.
So, let’s break some of the synopsis down. The bits of information between the emojis is spoilery, so skip those sections if you want no spoilers!

The world is about to end. There is only one way to save it. But the price could be her life

As far as I saw the world was not ending… There was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem which was also happening in some other areas. There was mention that there could be a full on War but that still isn’t the world ending.. I’m not sure what this ‘one way to save it’ was exactly because it was never mentioned. 🙄 The MCs blow up an old building or something to stop the bomb blowing up most of the city instead (which was a split second decision nearly) but that wasn’t exactly the only option. They could of disabled the bomb or literally anything else.. 🙄 And lastly besides trying to avoid being killed by terrorists there wasn’t any big events that could of been succeed by costing them her life..

The paths of three teenagers cross at the heart of a large-scale terror attack in which their parents are injured.

No they didn’t… 2 of them literally knew each other since birth (not to mention they all knew each other anyway before being reincarnated at this time – which is not even mentioned in the synopsis, except one tiny hint. Yes the entire book is based on reincarnation and religion)… The other one did cross their path but not all 3.

Time is running out and the only way to save themselves and the city is to find the Celestial Gate.

I don’t recall the characters actually mentioning that they thought finding The Celestial Gate would save the city. The female just wanted to find it to get to God so she could tell him that the system of reincarnation they are stuck is wasn’t working…

To accomplish this, they will have to overcome their differences and find the meaning of the secret bond that connects between the three of them, rooted in a previous life and in ancient history.

‘find the meaning’?? They literally get to a certain location and each of them remembers everything about the reincarnation and everything else… It wasn’t exactly something they were looking for or discovered. Their memory just came back.

Will they manage to find the secret gate and save the city from death and destruction?

Finding the gate did basically nothing in saving the city. They did that all on their own after they were sent back from Heaven.. Unless I missed something finding the gate really didn’t achieve anything except understanding a couple things.

So overall the synopsis was just all over the place. It does not mention religion once when that is literally the main focus of the book. It very very briefly hints to reincarnation which again is the major part of the world… Then other parts just simply aren’t accurate to the book I read. I just do not get it at all..


Enough about the synopsis and now onto the parts about the actual book I didn’t enjoy.

Firstly the 3 major characters felt very 2 dimensional.. The parents whose lives we briefly follow before the main plot felt more fleshed out than Mor, Anise & Yam. Due to them being so flat I just didn’t really care what was happening to them.

The plot itself was kind of interesting at times but also kinda bland even more often. I found myself getting bored a lot and also dosing off and having to reread the same sentence 5 times before I actually took it in. It was also very predictable which didn’t exactly help to make the book more exciting.

Lastly I didn’t enjoy how the POV was written. It swaps between the parents and the 3 major characters. However only 1/4 of the time did the paragraphs start with the characters name so you knew who you were following. I did however read an ARC of the book, so this could have been rectified in the final copy, I can’t be sure, but it made it very hard to follow in the ARC. I also found a couple times where the POV would change from one character to another half way through a paragraph without warning. Which means I was going back and reading sections trying to figure out who was doing what and what the heck was going on.

Overall I don’t recommend this book, even without the obvious synopsis issues. It was bland and not overly well written.
Majorly though, I went in expected an action packed adventure/quest book following 3 young adults and instead got a heavy religious based reincarnation story with a little bit of action but an overall quest to find God.. Not what I signed up for at all. I also wish that the heavy religious base of this book was mentioned in the synopsis so readers could have the choice on whether to read about the topic or not. It is not something I would have picked up if I had know and that should be something people have a choice on. Just being thrown into that expecting something completely different is not on and it’s not fair to the reader…

Let’s Chat

What are your thoughts on an inaccurate synopsis? Are there any books that come to mind that annoyed you for this reason?


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.

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The Starspun Web 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Starspun Web
Author: Sinéad O’Hart
Genre: MG Sci-Fi Fantasy
Publication Date: November 12th, 2019
Pages: 355
Publishers: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating:

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

For fans of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy comes a thrilling adventure about a brave girl who finds a portal to parallel worlds, and must protect her secret from the evil forces trying to capture it.

All her life, Tess has lived at Miss Ackerbee’s orphanage with her friends and her pet tarantula, Violet. But one day, a mysterious man named Mr. Cleat shows up and whisks Tess away to live with him. Before Tess leaves, Miss Ackerbee gives her a strange lens, and makes an even stranger admission: that Tess can travel to parallel worlds, and has been able to do so since she was found as a baby. Now, with her newfound abilities and the mysterious lens in tow, Tess must navigate life with Mr. Cleat and his nefarious housekeeper, who seem to be up to more than they let on. As Tess learns about the lens and its role in transporting her to other worlds, she discovers that behind Mr. Cleat’s oily smiles is a darker intention: one that could bring the world to its feet. Can Tess keep her secret from Mr. Cleat, and figure out what he’s up to? And what if the lens falls into the wrong hands? With the help of Violet and her friends from the orphanage, Tess can finally discover the truth about Mr. Cleat and, more importantly, herself.

The Starspun Web: Purple 10 point Star with a Blue star behind it which is surrounded by spider web. Top right corner features a building, top left features 2 WWII planes, bottom left features a spider & bottom right features a boy & a girl running.

This was a super quick and interesting read! I had a lot of fun reading this one and I ended up really enjoying it. I find Middle Grades can be very hit & miss with me. Some of them I love but others just read very childish in my opinion. The Starspun Web however was written beautifully and I found my self absolutely engrossed in the story.

I loved that this book had a strong theme of friendship throughout the whole book! It was very refreshing and the connections between characters were very fleshed out. I also loved seeing Tess develop as a character and person throughout the story! Tess was also a very thought out character and she showed that it’s okay to be smart and stand up for what is right.

The magic system was also very interesting and very developed. It still left a little mystery (after all the characters don’t even understand it all) but we found out enough to not be confused. The world building was also amazing and was written in a way that made it very picturesque.

Overall I really enjoyed The Starspun Web and I highly recommend picking it up if you are Fantasy fan. This one is a standalone but I will definitely be on the look out for Sinéad O’Hart’s next release!

Let’s Chat

Have you read The Starspun Web? What were your thoughts? Have you read any of Sinéad O’Hart’s other books? If so let me know your thoughts as I’m very curious.


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

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Aurora Burning 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Aurora Burning
Series Name: The Aurora Cycle
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Pages: 512
Publishers: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Aurora Burning Cover: Orange/Red backgroun with Kal on the cover. Kal is a white male with silver hair in multiple braids. He has a scar on his cheek and a tattoo of sorts on this forehead.
“They’re not going down without a fight. We hope.” is at the top of the book.

I enjoyed Aurora Burning even more than I did Aurora Rising!
You can find my Spoiler Free Review HERE!

The characters are amazingly written! They were fleshed out and felt completely real. I loved learning more about them and seeing them develop throughout the story.

The writing is also incredible. It always is from these authors really. I enjoyed reading from every POV and all of the POV were written very well. You could read their personalities in each POV which is hard to do right at the best of times let alone for six very different characters! The plot was very fast paced so it left very little room for calm moments which means I was just gripped by this story the entire time!

I ended up completely engrossed in this story & couldn’t wait to see what would happen next for these characters. The plot was completely unpredictable and I was left shocked a few times. Also this ended on a massive cliff hanger that literally left me staring at the book for about 2 minutes trying to process that ending.

Overall I loved this book and I CANNOT WAIT for book 3 to come out! The cliffhanger!!! I need to know. I highly recommend this to any Sci-Fi lover! Maybe wait for all of them to be out though because waiting the near year for book 3 is torturous.

Let’s Chat

Do you love the Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff duo?
What were your thoughts on Aurora Rising & Aurora Burning?


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Fawkes 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
Pages: 448
Publishers: Thomas Nelson
Rating:

5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes Cover – Top shows older buildings on the Thames with the title in the middle & a broken white mask on flames in the lower portion of the cover

I absolutely loved this book and just flew through it! I read Romanov on audiobook a little while back and enjoyed it but Fawkes is even better!

Firstly the world building in Fawkes is incredible! Everything is so detailed and very well explained. I felt so immersed in this world from the very beginning which I loved! Nadine Brandes has a way of writing that just grips me and makes me want to not put the book down. The magic system of this world is also super interesting and unique. It was explained really well too which means there was very little confusion as to what was going on.

The characters were awesome! All the side character were very fleshed out and I loved learning about them and their backgrounds and seeing their journey throughout. Emma was a badass and I loved her attitude and personality! It was awesome learning about her throughout the book. Thomas was very well written and I really enjoyed seeing his struggle with right & wrong and battling with what to believe from others.

The plot was very unpredictable and super gripping. I had no idea what to expect with this book & I honestly think that is the best way to go into it! It was so amazing and such a rollercoaster of a journey.

I also just want to mention that I really enjoyed the discussion and topic of Racism in this book. I love that it was both questioned and discussed as well as being historically accurate to the time period. I think this was really well done!

Overall this is well worth the read and I highly recommend it to any fantasy or historical fantasy fan! I am very curious to check out her other books & keen to see what she comes out with next!

My copy of Fawkes by Nadine Brandes with glittery gold sprayed edges (Custom Sprayed by Dusk Angel Store)
Let’s Chat

Have you read Fawkes or Romanov? What were your thoughts on them? Did you enjoy them as much as I did?


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

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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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The Shadows Between Us 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Shadows Between Us
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 25th, 2020
Pages: 326
Publishers: Feiwel & Friends
Rating:

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

The Shadows Between Us book cover – Silver sword in the centre with red stones in the handle surrounded by a black design & a red background.

Firstly I want to address the romance in this book. As yall may know I am not a fan of romance in books and I went into this book literally knowing NOTHING about it. So by the time I realised this was going to be a romance I was already fully hooked on this story! In the end the romance actually didn’t worry me at all. So that was a bit different for me. Anyway onto the actual review!

This book hooked me from the very beginning! After the first chapter I knew I was going to enjoy this book. I was already so invested in Alessandra’s story & this world.

I love that this is a standalone as standalone fantasy is rare to find, especially good ones that don’t feel like they are missing something. I also kinda wish there was a second book because I wanna know what goes down after the events of The Shadows Between Us. I am happy with how it ended but I love this world and characters so of course I want more.

As I have already mentioned I really enjoyed the characters. Alessandra was a super interesting character and I loved seeing her grow throughout the book. She was also a bit of a badass which I really enjoyed too. Kallais was also interesting and mysterious and I enjoyed seeing him grow and open up to Alessandra. Both characters were very well written and developed really well. The side characters were also very well written and fleshed out! No one felt two dimensional which was great.

This book was very unpredictable except for the overall outcome of the romance. I guessed that pretty early but how we got to that point was unexpected. The plot was super well written and I enjoyed it the whole time. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Overall I really enjoyed this one and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, intense & interesting romance. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Tricia Levenseller comes out with next as so far I have been a fan!

Daughter of the Pirate King Review

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Have you read The Shadows Between Us or any of Tricia Levenseller’s other books? Let me know your thoughts!


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Alice 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Alice
Author: Christina Henry
Series Name: The Chronicles of Alice
Genre: Fantasy Horror Retelling
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Pages: 304
Publishers: Titan Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In a warren of crumbling buildings called the Old City, a hospital echoes with the screams of the poor souls inside. Inside, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Trigger Warning: Very in depth discussions about Rape throughout nearly the whole book

This book is definitely not what I expected. I knew this was an Alice in Wonderland retelling but I did not read a synopsis and had not heard talk about it. I read The Girl in Red by Christina Henry a month or so ago and really enjoyed it! So when I was looking for something to read and saw Alice I decided why not.. Needless to say this was completely unexpected!

So at first it was a bit of a shock discovering that this was a dark gory horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland. However after the shock I actually really enjoyed it! There were definitely some messed up parts throughout but still super interesting & I got super hooked on this one from early on.

This book was completely unpredictable even though it was loosely following the Alice in Wonderland story line. The story was simply gripping and I found myself not wanting to put it down and just wanting to find out what crazy shit was going to happen next.

I enjoyed the 2 main characters we follow, Alice & Hatcher. They were both really well written and developed nicely over the course of the book. I also enjoyed the side characters (as characters, most of them were horrible people, let’s be real). There were such a mixture of traits in the side characters and they were very well written. I found myself absolutely hating some of then and then questions over motives. Christina Henry just has a way of writing characters that make you super invested in what happens to them (whether good or bad).

My only real downfall for this book and the reason it didn’t receive 5 stars was the ending. I had the same experience with The Girl in Red as well. For me the ending just seems a little lacklustre. There were tonnes of build up to the end but then the end just happens in one chapter and that’s it. It was a little disappointing after such an interesting and gripping book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and definitely will be continuing the series sometime in the future. I can’t wait to see what Christina Henry does with the story of the Red Queen in this dark retelling and there is also a novella bind up, Looking Glass, available which I’m super keen to suss out. If you are into dark fantasy then I highly recommend but be warned that there is a very high trigger warning for Rape in this book…


Have you read Alice or any of Christina Henry’s other works? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts were! I’m definitely interested in picking up other books by Christina Henry but not sure where to go next.


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The Cuckoo’s Calling 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Genre: Adult Mystery
Publication Date: February 13th, 2014
Pages: 550
Publishers: Sphere
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger.

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable debut. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year.

This is the first book I have read by J.K. Rowling outside of the Harry Potter universe and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book!

My main negative for The Cuckoo’s Calling was that there were a few points in the story that simply felt slow. I didn’t hate these portions as you were still generally getting some information regarding the mystery but I would of liked even more if it was a bit quicker paced.

As for the positives I have many more! I really enjoyed both the main characters Robin & Strike. I loved Robin for not giving up on a career path she was enjoying, even if it wasn’t the most ideal situation. I also really enjoyed how conscience she was of others and what she could do to help them. That was actually super refreshing compared to some of the main characters I’ve been reading of recently. As for Strike I enjoyed how he handled situations & his way of thinking. It was awesome to see some disability rep for him as well and I loved that we got a sneak of the backstory behind it which I think helped build his character in general.

I really enjoyed the setting of this one from the office to the streets of London. I’ve actually been reading a lot of books set in London recently (by accident) and I think this one set the most vivid image in my head due to the descriptions throughout the book.

Lastly, I have to briefly mention the plot. No spoilers of course but I really enjoyed it! This was a well thought-out mystery and I really enjoyed how we slowly got all these ‘clues’ that could of lead to any number of people but then something totally unexpected was revealed in the end! Completely unpredictable and I loved it.

Overall, I do recommend this book but just be warned it can be on the slower side. I will definitely be continuing the series after I grab book 2 (for some reason I own book 1 & 3 but not 2. 🤷🏻‍♀️).


Have you read The Cuckoo’s Calling? What were your thoughts?
Also have you read any of J.K. Rowlings other works (besides HP)? Are they worth me looking into?


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*There are multiple available covers for The Cuckoo’s Calling.*

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Paperback – Silver Cover
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Paperback – Movie Cover

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Paperback – Blue Cover
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Kriss: The Gift of Wrath 💫 Mini Spoiler Free Review

Title: Kriss: The Gift of Wrath
Author: Ted Naifeh & Warren Wucinich
Genre: YA Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Pages: 124
Publishers: Katherine Oni Press
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

For fans of The Graveyard Book and Through the Woods comes a different kind of YA fantasy graphic novel, in which a teen boy’s search for his destiny leads him into darkness.

Lean, ghostly pale, and permanently grim-faced, Kriss has always been an outsider in his small village. Not even his adoptive parents love him. Only Anja, the blacksmith’s daughter, brings kindness and friendship into the life of the sullen teenager. But Kriss is haunted by dim memories of his true father, Erikk Iron Tooth, the king of Darkovia.

When Anja’s mother is killed by a wild sabercat from the far north, the young girl’s world is shattered, and Kriss determines to avenge her. Armed with only a pitchfork, the skinny teen sets out to kill the beast, only to learn that it’s actually a dark spirit from Darkovia, come to bring him his destiny. The spirit grants Kriss the power to vanquish the mightiest foes, and commands him to reclaim his father’s kingdom. But his gift of power comes with a price — uncontrollable rage. And leaving the village would mean leaving Anja, the only person who’s always been there for him. Kriss must choose between his destiny and Anja, who needs his friendship more than ever. But his growing power, and the fiery anger that comes with it, threatens to make the choice for him, and burn everything he holds dear.

This was not exactly what I expected from this Graphic Novel. That’s for sure. This is going to be a short & sweet review because I really don’t have that much to say. Quite simply I just found it hard to follow & kinda pointless.

I don’t know if I just simply didn’t get the meaning behind this one but I just felt like it had no real purpose, message or plot to it. It was also super hard to follow and I still have no idea about half the things that happened in the story. According to Goodreads this is not even part of a series, so it isn’t like there is more to come that will explain what exactly was going on in this book.

I did enjoy the art style but that was about all that I can say positive about it. This Graphic Novel wasn’t exactly bad, it just wasn’t for me and left me confused.


Have you read Kriss? What were your thoughts on it?


Thank you to both NetGalley & Oni Press for providing an eGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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