Vassa in the Night

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

3.75 stars

This is quite possibly the most bizarre book I’ve ever read. But I actually ended up liking it a lot.

Vassa in the Night is a book I would have never picked out for myself, but I got it in one of my Owlcrate’s and decided to give it a shot. I’ve been needing a change of pace with my genre’s lately, so I picked up this one.

And my god, this book is weird. BUT the writing style sucked me into the story and I felt like I got lost in the pages of this peculiar story.

“Why did it take me so many years to understand that Night is something you can talk to, something that might even decide to watch over you or kiss you just when you’re about to crumple from loneliness?”

The story begins when one of Vassa’s stepsisters asks her to go to the local convenience store to get light bulbs for their apartment. But Vassa’s Brooklyn isn’t like our regular Brooklyn, it’s one under the curse of longer nights and sparse days. And the local convenience store isn’t convenient at all, it’s a place that beheads shoplifters and hooligans, run by Babs Yagg.

Vassa might be able to break the curse Babs Yagg has on the neighborhood, but she also might get herself killed.

“No matter who I couldn’t save before, no matter if I’m stuck being a random mess of a girl, I’m still going to save something.”

Like I said before, this book is just plain weird. But at the same time it’s enchanting. I went into this book expecting not to like it based on numerous negative reviews and a low average rating, so imagine my surprise when I just couldn’t put it down.

I have no clue who I would recommend this one to, it’s a hit or a miss for a lot of people. The only real negative thing I have to say about this book is the plot wasn’t very coherent. While I enjoyed reading this very much, there were lots of times where I thought to myself “what the heck is happening right now?”.

Sarah Porter is a brilliant writer, talented at what she does. I would be happy to read more by her in the future and see the world through her unique eyes again.

“You don’t have to be human to be a person. I mean you don’t have to be human to be somebody. I don’t know you that well, but you seem like way more of a somebody than lots of humans I know! Really.”

Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

1 star

Me giving out a 1 star rating to a book is so rare, and yet this book just fills me with ragey feelings. So be warned, whatever I say will be ragey and spoilery.

I was excited to read Three Dark Crowns, it was my second ever Owlcrate book, written by an author I like and had an interesting premise. But OH MY GOD this book was awful. I don’t understand how you can have almost 400 pages and still never manage to develop a single character. The first half of the book was boring and a tad but confusing, and it really didn’t pick up until the last half and that part of the book just made me angry.

And the romance.

Giant middle finger to the romance. Too much time spent on cheating and deceiving than actually developing what was there. Too much self pity and too many doormats.

So obviously, I hated it. Can’t think of a single person I would recommend this too. I have zero desire to read the next book.

Thanks for reading my rambling ragey rant.

Breath of Fire

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2) by Amanda Bouchet

4 stars!

“You’re the shield, and I’m the sword.”

What an action packed and thrilling series!

Breath of Fire begins where A Promise of Fire left off, and with one of Cat’s big secrets revealed. It becomes clear that Griffin and the team need more to protect their city from outside. From there they go on a quest to a wizard to tell them what they need to achieve this, and the adventure begins from there…

“It’s time to be the person you were meant to be, Cat. You don’t just have to make decisions and stand by them now. You have to live with them.”

From the first page of this book I was enthralled with the story. We get a major overdose of angst right at the beginning (much to my delight) and then things smooth out from there. I love fantasy novels so mixing fantasy and romance together is like a dream come true. My favorite parts of this book included Cat and Kato in the labyrinth, a truly thrilling part of the book.

Cat definitely matured in this book, her annoying aspects have disappeared somewhat because lots of her internal fears were resolved. She’s still strong and sassy as ever, and she has the best man alongside her. I love Griffin, he’s an excellent mix of alpha male and partner, being dominant and yet letting Cat be herself and fight. He just fights alongside her.
A thrilling follow up novel filled with action, romance and mythology. I am so ready for the third book and I wish it was out right now.

“I will always come back to you.”
…I lean forward and kiss him because he’s my hunger and my food, my thirst and my water, my air and my every breath.”

Silence Fallen

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

4.5 stars!

“I only get weirder the longer you know me.”

Silence Fallen begins with Mercy being abducted by vampires and brought to Europe. She escapes her captors and ends up in the gothic city of Prague, where she has no clue if the people and supernatural creatures she comes across are friend or foe. As time goes by Mercy discovers there is more than one creature that has her in their sits, it’s just a matter of whether or not she can find a safe place to go.

“I looked like a victim. I was done, really done with being a victim.”

I love this series, it never ever fails to deliver a thrilling story and a smile to my face. Patricia Briggs writes hands down one of the best urban fantasy series ever. I love getting lost in the Tricities realm, the characters feel like friends and family as you read along. This is book ten and the series is still going strong, connecting the previous happenings of the books before while creating a new and unique story.

I was majorly geeking out when reading this book. Why? I studied abroad for a year in the city of Prague, and the majority of this book was based there! And it was all accurate! I felt as if I was walking the streets of that city again and it made me miss it. Briggs very obviously either knows the city well herself, or did some awesome research. Plus the addition of the Prague Golem to the plot? Genius! And amazingly well done.

Anyways, I gave it 4.5 instead of 5 because honestly, Adams bits were kinda boring to me with all the political stuff. But otherwise I LOVED this book. And that twist at the end? I never saw it coming, even though thinking back there were some clues. I just missed them.

This is a series you need to be reading, and if you already are, read this book immediately!

“Where is the glory if there is no one left to tell the story?”

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

A Promise of Fire

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

4.5 stars!

“People talk about fight or flight? That’s nonsense. It’s fight and flight.”

I love fantasy romance, it always delivers such fun!

A Promise of Fire is a mythological fantasy romance about a woman who can detect lies, among other abilities. This makes Cat very valuable to the rulers of the world who want to use her for their own gain. When the brother of a Queen recognizes Cat as a Kingmaker, he and his warriors capture her to bring her to their Queen.

Griffin wants to use Cat for peace, but a lifetime of hardship has Cat convinced that is not possible. It’s up to Griffin to sway her.

“Now that that’s settled, you’re coming with me.”

“Never in a billion suns. Not even if Zeus showed up as a swan and tried to peck me in your direction. I wouldn’t go with you even if my other option was Hades dragging me to the Underworld for an eternal threesome with Persephone.”

After seeing this book on lots of Best of 2016 lists, I wanted to give it a shot. I’m glad I did because it was a fun and wild read. Lots of reviews have noted Cat as annoying, and I can see where people would think that, but to me she was feisty and fierce. Could she have made better decisions? Yes. But her life circumstances never really taught her the “right” way to live, she had to learn on her own.

Griffin….. oh my Griffin

I love a romance where the man has to convince the girl to love him. His courtship of Cat was fun, and it was frustrating at times, but he never wavered.

I loved the mix of mythology and fantasy, the mystery behind who Cat really was, the relationship of Cat with the warriors and the royals. Basically I really enjoyed this book. So much so, I ran to my local Barnes and Noble to pick up the next book before I was even done reading!!!

“I conquered a kingdom and found a treasure.” His voice turns gravelly, low. “I won’t let you go. Not now. Not ever.”

The Queen of All That Lives

The Queen of All That Lives by Laura Thalassa

4.5 stars!

^^^That’s what sums up this series for me!

“It’s easy to love the dream. It’s much harder to love the reality.”

What an epic series. I am floored by how quickly I read all three, I loved them all so much. I can’t think of much more to say other than what I have said in my reviews for book 1 and 2. Basically I loved this series, it’s unique and thrilling. The characters aren’t perfect but they are raw and they are real.

If you are intrigued, take a chance on something new. And for all you KU readers, all three books are on kindle unlimited!

“I didn’t marry you because you were a pretty thing. I married you because you were a wicked one.”

The Queen of Traitors

The Queen of Traitors (Fallen World #2) by Laura Thalassa

5 stars!

All I gotta say is I am so glad all the books in this series are done or I would be losing my shit right now.

I don’t want to get too spoilery, but this book picks up where we left off at the end of the first book. Some things are cleared up fairly quickly and we resume the everyday struggle it is for Serenity and Montes to survive. Serenity seems to be quite the target for attacks and I was completely riveted the entire time I was reading this book. A part of me wants to say “fuck it” and stay up until dawn finishing the last book but you know, life and stuff. And work. And sleep. Gosh darn those things.

It’s been a LONG time since I have found a series that sucked me in like this, and I can already tell that this book hangover coming up will possibly kill me once I finish the series. Hold me.

And to book 3, I am coming for you, SOON.

The Queen of All That Dies

The Queen of All That Dies by Laura Thalassa

5 stars!

“Once upon a time we were innocent, and then we were not.”

In the future the world is at war and America is losing the fight against the king. Serenity has only known fighting and horror since she was a kid, and is among the soldiers in the WUN army. Her country is losing the war, and Serenity is sent with her father to make peace agreements with the king. From there it becomes clear she is meant to be an offering to the king, and he likes what he sees.

“What you choose to do with all that anger is your business. But you can’t control the world; someone will always be there to wrong you. It’s your choice to let it go.”

This is a book I’ve been meaning to read forever (sorry I took so long Christine) and now finally did. I loved it! An incredibly compelling story, I fell in love with this book right away. It’s just so refreshing to read something different than everything else that’s out there. I had been in a huge book slump before reading this, and this wonderful book pulled me out of it!

It’s rare when you find a near future dystopian romance that completely sucks you into its world. I felt like I was really there, in the barracks, in the palace. Like a movie playing before my eyes. Giant high five to the author for world building, it’s not an easy feat and she completely nailed it.

And now I get to the man who makes me and Serenity question our morals and sanity. Montes. The King.

But like seriously, I do. Ruthless, cunning, evil. And yet the compassion he showed Serenity, the love he had for her. Damn I wish I could marry this crazy messed up dude LOL.

Anyways, this book was amazing and unlike anything else I have ever read. If you find yourself intrigued, take the plunge and read this book!

“It should never have been this way. My comrades turning on me, my enemies saving me. But worst of all, I should never have felt anything other than hatred for this man, the king, Definitely not this, this warmth that thaws my soul.
I stare into the king’s eyes. I am Isolde, I am Juliet, I am Guinevere.
I am every one of those idiots because I’ve fallen for the king.”

The Edge of Everything

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

3 stars!

“If you kill him, you’re as bad as he is,” Zoe said. “It’s not our job to punish people.”
X lowered his head.
“Perhaps it is not yours.”

The Edge of Everything is one of the more gruesome young adult novels I’ve ever come across. One of the more unique ones too. It’s the story of a creature named X who is a sort of supernatural bounty hunter who encounters a family one night when he is sent to claim a soul. X becomes attached to them and the teenage Zoe and it changes everything about the world he knows.

First off, I enjoyed this book, but it was a little bit too grim and dark for me. I do think it will be a gigantic hit amongst many of those who read in the YA genre. It’s very unique and very descriptive, Giles has a very cunning mind. There were moments when I actually felt nauseous from the descriptions and that’s the mark of a fantastic writer!

I loved the character of X and his story, the creepy and harsh world he was raised in. X was the best part about this book for me. Zoe, well. She’s a teenage girl and she was written like one, which means she grated my nerves a bit, but ultimately she was a very realistic teen character. I would have liked to see more growth from her throughout the progression of the story.

My other favorite parts were the characters Ripper and Banger, they were so much fun to read about and I kind of hope they get their own novellas and/or novels.

I do think a lot of people will love and embrace this book.

An ARC was provided

Steelheart

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

4 stars!

Steelheart is about a boy named David who watched his father murdered by the Epic named Steelheart. Epics are advanced beings that came to earth and took over, like super villains instead of superheroes. Now ten years later Steelheart rules Newcago and the city remains in a constant state of darkness. David has thought of nothing but revenge for the last decade and needs the help of a group named the Reckoners to carry out his plan.

David is tentatively accepted by the Reckoners, but he must convince them that he is useful to their group.

“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.”

I really enjoyed this book, the prologue was just phenomenal and mind blowing. Reading that I knew this would be a good book. To me this book had a very Watchmen feel to it, but instead of the Epics being the center storyline it’s the humans fighting super villains. I definitely want to know more about how the Epics came to be and see more shades of gray in that area.

The only reason I didn’t love this book and simply really enjoyed it, was there were some information overload moments that went a bot beyond my comprehension. I know it all had meaning to the plot and I was definitely wowed by the end with how some things came together. But those parts I kind of set down the book and walked away for a bit.

Anyways, the end of this book just left me wanting more, so I am off to start the next one!!! Yay!

“I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good Epics. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Marking Time

Marking Time by April White

4 stars!

“I loved history, any kind of history, and even better if it was hidden, secret, or underground.”

You know you enjoyed a book when you made an entire pinterest board inspired by it. And I don’t even use pinterest very often, so there.

Marking Time is a book my friend Wendy told me to read AGES ago and I always meant to. Then my friend Cyndi told me to read it. Then I met April herself (who is lovely). Then Penny Reid also recommended it. And yet I waited:

SO I FINALLY READ IT!!!! Thanks for the recs ladies!!! And it was wonderful!

Marking Time is about a teenage girl named Saira who discovers she has the ability to travel through time when she time travels to London in the time of Jack the Ripper. Thus begins a race to find her mother and save her before it’s too late. Along the way Saira meets the enchanting Archer, a student, who explains the Immortal families to her and Saira discovers some shocking truths about who she really is.

“Then my rescuer turned to look at me and I felt his eyes reach right down into my guts and tangle them up in knots. With that look I knew I’d jumped straight from the kettle into the fire.”

My undergraduate degree is in general history and something that bugs me a lot of the time in books with historical aspects is when facts are not correct (even though I don’t really use that degree anymore). So I was blown away by the amount of research White must have done for this book because there was not one single moment where I thought to myself “this would have never happened”. NOT ONCE. I mean, it is a fantasy book so of course not everything is realistic. But on the historical details she nailed it.

I really enjoyed this book, it was so refreshing to read something unique and original. It’s not quite a YA book despite being a young adult, and it’s not quite a romance novel despite there being a sweet romantic storyline that made me smile. What you get is an action packed adventure story that you won’t ever forget. I also love the potential this series has and cannot wait to pick up the other books and read them.

I think taking forever to read this book worked out in my favor a bit as the fifth book releases soon so I can read them all at once. It’s another reason YOU should pick up this book. AND this book is FREE on amazon. So what are you waiting for?

“’Perhaps your friendship with your mother is just shifting to something more… adult.’ That felt like a huge responsibility. If I forgave my mother for hiding the truth from me, then I had to totally own my part in our relationship. I couldn’t play the little girl anymore. I couldn’t hide behind her authority and rules and then get mad when they didn’t fit. I’d have to make my own choices and take charge of my own well-being. It’s one thing to say ‘I’m old enough to make my own rules’ and it’s a totally different thing to make the right ones. And live by them.”

The Bird and the Sword

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

4.5 stars!

“Swallow Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ’til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ’til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive.”

Amy Harmon just has this way with words, she infuses beauty into them. She takes words and gives them substance, she makes them pretty.

The Bird and the Sword is a high fantasy novel following a young woman named Lark. When she was a child her mother died to protect her, taking the fall for an ability Lark has so that Lark would not be killed. Now grown, Lark has not spoken since the day her mother died and she is heavily protected by her father. When King Tiras comes and takes Lark as collateral, Lark is swept away to a new place, one where she learns more than she ever could before.

Words are her power, and the knowledge of words was kept from her until now. And Tiras becomes aware of Lark’s power and needs it to help save everyone’s lives. But can Lark save Tiras from his own curse?

“You glow, Lark.” His hand climbed back up again and swept over my unbound hair. I swallowed, suddenly close to tears. Then why does no one see me? “I see you,” he said.”

I loved this book. Plain and simple. Harmon’s work can be a hit or a miss for me, before this book it was about a 50/50 split on the 4 books I had already read. I am a huge fantasy fan so despite my reservations I was intrigued. On top of that so many people have recommended this book and I basically waved them off, putting it off even longer.

As of late I have have trouble finding a romance novel that is worth my time, that doesn’t sound like everything else out there. THIS is that book, the one that is so uniquely special it blows all other books out of the water. Harmon’s magical writing style, not once did I skim, not once did I want to put the book down and I stayed up until 2 am finishing this novel. For a woman who normally writes contemporary, she nailed the world building required for a high fantasy novel. The imagery was stunning, I felt as if I was in this world myself.

So if you are hesitant to read this book for any reason, I say let your reservations go and try it anyway. That’s what I did, and it worked out wonderfully for me.

“I think I will keep you.”

Heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2 stars

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”

Being a giant fan of Marissa Meyer and her Cinder series, it’s incredibly disheartening that I didn’t like this book. BUT a bit to my fault, I found out after starting this book that the style has been compared to Gregory Maguire, the author herself said that was the inspiration.

I friggin hate Gregory Maguire’s books. So I think this book was doomed for me from the start.

I love the idea and concept of Heartless, the prequel to Alice in Wonderland. The story of the famous villain the Queen of Hearts.

If you watched the movie growing up, you are familiar with her heart full of venom and hate. This book gave us the story of how she came to be that way (meaning obviously it’s not the happiest of tales).

Heartless is the story of a girl named Catherine who wants to open a bakery with her friend. Her mother has higher hopes for her and wants her to marry the King. While at one of the palace balls, Cath meets the new Joker, Jest and is enchanted by him.

Over time it becomes more and more clear to Cath that she wants a life with Jest and not the King, but she’s tangled in a web with the King and her family and feels hopeless in controlling her own life.

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

As you can tell, I didn’t love this book. I felt it was drawn out and near the end I was speed reading to just get it over with already. The beginning of the book was so slow and then everything was rushed together at the end of the book, I wish the pacing had been better. I also didn’t connect to a single character in the book, nor did I feel sympathetic for them (and I think as readers we were intended to).

The thing I liked most about it was the concept and I think Meyer did a fantastic job of making the characters her own. But a lot of things felt obvious and unoriginal, and I didn’t actually feel the love between Cath and Jest. Which is sad because I think Meyer delivered brilliant romances in the Cinder series.

I think fans of Gregory Maguire will enjoy this book, but it was not to my tastes or liking at all. It’s as simple as that.

“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

The Lost Codex

The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

4 stars!

“The beauty of free will is that we can choose whether or not to do what we wish.”

A truly epic series, something unique and original that you don’t see very often. Lyons has said this is her ode to literature, and I can see why. From the beginning of the series I was fascinated by the idea of taking characters we know and love from multiple books and stories, and weaving them together to create an action packed adventure, mystery, fantasy series.

I can’t say much about the plot, because that’s one giant spoiler for everything, but know I was riveted from the first page, trying to figure out the mystery of the ending of book three (which was luckily revealed sooner than I expected). From there so much happens, you just have to read it to find out!

I love the different ideas Lyons has for her characters, though they may originally have belonged to other authors, she has respectfully crafted them into her own. Very fast paced and incredibly well written, this series to me was grand time and one I can see myself returning to in the future to reread. I’m sad that this series is over and I will miss these characters.

Every time I read a book in this series, I find myself wanting to return to classic literature. A lot of the references I understood, others I had to figure out. But ultimately it made me want to read more and learn more.

“We are not bound by prophecies, but by choice.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for review

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BOOK INFORMATION:

 

THE LOST CODEX (The Collectors’ Society, #4) is LIVE!

Don’t miss the conclusion of this incredible series!

Purchase here:

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/TheLostCodexAMZ

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Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

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My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

4.5 stars!!! 
This book was:

I had my reservations going into this book. An inaccurate account of Lady Jane Grey mixed in with fantasy elements? I was not sold. In fact I almost passed it over. But when I opened it and my eyes landed on the dedication, I knew I had to read it.

“Dedication:

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”

SOLD!

So, the plot. Jane is the cousin of King Edward and would like to spend all of her time with her nose in a book. Edward is dying of “The Affliction” and needs to pick a successor since he was too young and sick to leave an heir. When one of his advisors suggests Edward marry Jane off and name her child as an heir, Edward agrees. And so Jane is married to Gifford, who spends his nights as a man and days as a horse.

A horse you say? Oh, did I neglect to tell you that there are shapeshifters and in this book many people called Edians can transform into animals (not always at will). Soon it is discovered there is a plot to kill Edward in a strong power move, and it only gets more interesting from there…

“No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Neigh.”
“Was that a horse joke?”

So I was a history major in college and reading books with historical inaccuracies used to drive me CRAZY. But lately I’ve been loosening my grip and enjoying things not exactly accurate **cough cough REIGN cough cough** so with this book I straightened my back and LET IT GO.

Exactly Elsa!!!

Anyways, this book was so friggin funny. When compared to Monty Python I was worried, because that isn’t my humor. But to me this was more along the lines of Princess Bride humor, or more subtle British humor. There were many times when reading this book I chuckled out loud. And that doesn’t happen very often as I have RBF. (Resting book face).

I can only imagine the amount of fun the authors had writing this, I had so much fun reading it. Honestly, there isn’t another book out there I would be able to compare it to. History, humor, shifters and murder? Not a combo I would have guessed would work. But it did!

It’s one flaw? Way too damn long. Almost 500 pages dude.

If you need to read something a little bit different, something that will put you in a good mood, this is your book.

“You’re wrong,” Lord Dudley said. “You’ve always been a fool.”

“The fool thinks he is wise,” G retorted. “But the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”