I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Alyssa Ivy Rose the auI received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Alyssa Ivy Rose the author behind the phenomenal Chronicles world series--not sure what to really call this since all the series are titled differently but all take place in this same world--begins Hailey's story with Torn! It's been awhile since I finished up Owen's story but I was quickly caught up to speed on what happened with him and essentially Hailey! And wow!! Just wow!!!
So Hailey had one incredible night with the Drago named Wyatt. Ever since then, it seems, her life has been in a funk. She's just kind of rolling through the motions. She was the one to leave Wyatt that night, mostly because she was scared of what it might mean. Hailey is a fiercely independent young woman and I love that about her. But as Hailey will learn, being independent doesn't mean you have to do it alone. Wyatt is a Drago who knows what he wants in life and that is to be with his mate, Hailey. He just needs to win her back, which isn't going to be as easy at that. But Wyatt is a very patient young man, and I admit, I totally swooned over him! The best thing about Alyssa's guys in this series at large is that they are the ultimate definition of SWOONWORTHY!
But romance is far from Hailey's problems as she is to act as a stand-in for Allie at a sort of paranormal women's conference! Basically where the paranormal women will gather and talk about the paranormal world at large and their growing role in it. But naturally, things get a little...crazy! To start, Wyatt is the Drago representative and has invited himself to stay in the same house as Hailey. And Hailey isn't exactly wanting to rekindle any kind of relationship with him...yet, because obviously these two are going to work something out! LOL!
Then the speech that Hailey was told to read gets a little revision from Hailey herself and it's not long before she finds herself on a "voluntary" leave of absence as Allie's assistant. It seems to be a running theme in her family. And then Cade, whom I could just barely remember, asks for their help in infiltrating a group of sorts that may be planning something nefarious in regards to the Society and its rulers, namely Levi and Allie. Wanting to protect her friends at whatever the cost, Hailey agrees and Wyatt does too, namely to protect Hailey.
What I really liked about Hailey and Wyatt is how easy they seem to role into a relationship. Hailey is basically expecting him to be all macho and overprotective, but Wyatt knows that Hailey is capable of taking care of herself. While he does still have a protective streak to him, it's more...contained, I guess you could say! It's hard to really verbalize what I'm trying to say, but all you really need to know is that I loved their relationship. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of their past connection, as it's been eons (i.e. wayyyy too many books) since I last read Love, which is when they likely made said connection or close to it! Lol! The problems of a book nerd run deep!
And like all of Alyssa's romances in this long running (and totally amazing) series, it's HOT! I love how intense the relationships run. These paranormals take romance seriously and they love truly and deeply, and the romantic in me gets all sappy and mushy over these romances!
There's quite a mystery running within this one! It's so early in the series though, so it's hard to say what might happen or not. But let's just say there's something fishy going on around here! And I also loved the added cameo from a particular Dire I was rather fond of! Plus we get to meet some new characters as well as seeing a few other familiar faces! It's definitely shaping up to be one killer series!! Plus, it's Hailey after all! She's always been a favorite of mine ever since the first Flight Chronicles took off! I can't wait to see what her Happy Ending will entail!
As always, you can easily pick this one up and not have to know what happened previously. This is Hailey's story after all. But it will spoil other character's HEA endings for you. So really, your best best is to binge read the previous series at large and prepare yourself for an entirely delightful and incredible set of adventures!! And these are amazing awesome reads, I think for the most part all these books have been a one day read! And since the lot of you seem to read wayyyy faster than I ever could (LOL!) I'm sure you can get caught up in 2-3 days! They are all incredibly fast paced reads that you don't want to put down, unless life demands it of you and then you know, you have to listen, regretfully!
So please do yourself the greatest kindness ever and read this series! Read ALL the series!! Because they've all been truly awesome and I have loved every moment of every single one of them! And of course there's that added pleasure that comes from binge reading: no waiting for the next one!
And so The Beauty and the Beast readathon continues!! I picked up another one from my TBR pile, Beauty by Caroline Lee was in my LitCube from OctoberAnd so The Beauty and the Beast readathon continues!! I picked up another one from my TBR pile, Beauty by Caroline Lee was in my LitCube from October I think? I can’t remember exactly, but since it was called a Beauty and the Beast retelling I was most eager to give it a read. Though what I found was somehow lacking, sadly.
It’s not to say that it was a bad book, it wasn’t, I just felt like it needed more. There was hardly any conflict really. The only problem that really existed that both of the characters had their reasons why they shouldn’t love the other. To me, that’s not really conflict, just relationship drama. But the story world itself was rather interesting.
Set in the 1800s in a town called Everland, Wyoming we have a quaint little setup. There are other fairy tale characters wandering around, but I don’t think it’s necessarily meant to be a fairy tale world explicitly. For instant, Arabella was rather chummy with a stepmother named Meri who apparently gets her own story in another book. Having dived into a book 3 in a series that’s more worldly focus, I can easily say you won’t get lost by doing this. Things that happened before really have no impact on Arabella’s story, you’ll just know who ends up with who! Really you get to know all this when you check out the series listing in the front of the book!
But the story goes in a way that we all know. A beauty falls in love with a beast. Except this time, Beauty is a widow in her thirties with a son to care for from her first husband and her second husband had past away some time ago. Then in moves in a retired musician who is claimed to be hideously scarred and blind. When this “beast” Vincenzo comes to Arabella asking for her to read to him (for she owns her own bookshop!) she is all too readily accept. She is in dire need of the money, but instead asks for the musician to perhaps teach her son how to play the violin, for it was a favorite pastime of her first husband whom she loved since their childhood.
And as one might imagine, sparks start to fly between Arabella and Vincenzo, though both of them feel like there’s too much between them that would prevent any kind of happily ever after. And that is basically where any and all conflict lies. I just wanted more! Something more sinister or annoying that had to be fought in order for our couple to find happiness with one another. But instead, nada! No evil villain, no curse, no Enchantresses, there was truly nothing standing in their way but their own self-doubts.
There was a surprising twist that came along that you can probably guess. It took me a double take to really grasp it, I will admit! Mostly from other outside distractions while I was reading this one! Whoops! But as we all know, fairy tales tend to end a certain way…I mean even the Grimm Brothers ended them in this way for the princesses for the most part! At least there aren’t any that come to mind where said princess meets a more fearful fate!
While this one was a rather quick read and a pretty different take on a beloved classic, I felt like it was truly lacking some greater conflict that our heroes needed to overcome. And it was a bit too short too for my liking, I guess that’s why there was no greater conflict. If you’re looking to expand on your fairy tale retellings this is definitely one that’s different, I mean come on Beauty has a KID!, this is one you might want to look into. But I sadly can’t say it was an instant favorite.
I don’t know if I’ve ever read the full version of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s The Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read a shortened version ofI don’t know if I’ve ever read the full version of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s The Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read a shortened version of it for sure, but this full version definitely brings new light to the Disney story I’ve come to know and love! I can definitely see why Disney had to make their magic happen over the story for some elements were definitely not child appropriate. I must say that illustrations and interactive elements by MinaLima were superb! I have the Peter Pan edition of this HaperCollins line as well, which was equally beautiful!
The story is naturally, as old as time, we have a young girl who is willing to exchange her life and freedom for that of her father’s in the castle of a most fearsome beast. But oddly enough, Beauty is far from a prisoner here, it’s like she’s an exalted guest! She actually has very little interaction with the Beast except for a short conversation after dinner, though they do dine together as well. And every night the Beast proposes marriage to Beauty and every night she must refuse.
Definitely some oddities there, but this is a fairy tale! The language was so rich, it kind of reminded me why I avoid classics these days. It gets really “rich” and it’s hard to remember what the characters are saying exactly. The language back then was definitely an art!
It’s hard to really write a review over a fairy tale that we all already know, or mostly I guess. I feel like we all know the Disney movie more. The differences between the two were quite large! The characters are pretty different too, though Beauty does seem to be the same kind and caring person. Though here, there is definitely something more. The prince as well seems to have been a different person as well. He wasn’t necessarily the selfish and unkind man we all know about. Though ironically, he doesn’t have a name here either. Guess that’s why Disney went the way they did! LOL!
I was actually surprised by a few other magical involvements in this one. Without getting into too much detail let’s just say that “Enchantress” definitely has a larger role in this one! And so much backstory to know about as well! Just when you think the “Happily Ever After” will come about, you find that there are three more chapters! It’s insane!
It’s hard to really critique style and pacing and whatnot with this one, I mean it’s a classic! So yes, the language is different, the pacing is different! Just when you expect a happy ending you get three more chapters worth of backstory of how exactly the Beast came to be cursed and then another chapter worth of backstory for another character! It’s kind of insane, but a good kind I guess you could say.
The illustrations were truly beautiful! I loved seeing them throughout the pages. Although there were a few instances in the last three chapters that the artwork was scarce and I felt like this made reading a bit more of a struggle since the lines were spaced so sparingly and again with the language being a bit of a struggle to adapt to. Also, very long paragraphs. I guess this was before formatting became such a bigger issue. But those are just small generalities that were disappointing, hardly enough to detract from the magic that is a classic fairy tale!
Though there was one twist to the story I didn’t really see coming, and I’m like whaaaaaat? Definitely a different time my friends.
If you’ve ever wanted to read the full and original story of The Beauty and the Beast I highly recommend this edition because the illustrations and interactive elements were truly gorgeous and a delight! And the cover itself is a beautiful sight as well! Makes for a perfect addition to my own classics shelf on top of the bookcase!
I've been a big time fan of Beauty and the Beast ever since it released in theaters (because, yes, I am that old. LOL!) and I saw it TWICE! Which is eI've been a big time fan of Beauty and the Beast ever since it released in theaters (because, yes, I am that old. LOL!) and I saw it TWICE! Which is ever so rare. I can count on one hand the number of movies I ever saw more than once in theaters! So yes, I am STOKED for the upcoming remake this month! And not too long ago I heard about Jennifer Donnelly's, whom I have always meant to read but hadn't yet, newest book was tied into the new movie, I knew I HAD to give it a read! The title, Lost in a Book, alone held enough promise for me!
Haven't we all imagined literally diving into a book, exploring the world, living its very journey, its story? Well, in this one, Belle does exactly this! The story starts off when she's been gifted the library by the Beast. We see through flashbacks basically how she wound up in the Beast's castle on the very, very off chance no one's ever been introduced to this story before. It' not long before Belle discovers a very special particular (because all books are special! ;) ) book and when she opens it, she's quite literally sucked into the pages! The world within the story comes alive. Though, truthfully, it felt like more the book was coming to life rather than its story, for it really has more of a magical book world feel than the actual story. The book is called Nevermore, which really just brings to mind Edgar Allan Poe than anything else.
Belle isn't sure what sort of magic this is. Having spent time in the enchanted castle with the cursed servants and Beast she knows magic is real. But this is a different sort. She's always longed to travel to new places, visit the wide open world far from her tiny little village. But she soon learns that not all stories end happily ever after, nor are the journeys themselves as adventurous and exciting either, that they can be quite dangerous.
I actually managed to read this one in one day! It was nice, kind of cute! I was totally using the voices from the animated movie in my head for all our beloved characters. Though the role of Belle was alternately voiced by Paige and Emma! LOL! My brain couldn't decide which one to use! And while I thought it was a cute read and all, I also couldn't help but feel like something was lacking. There was a nice kind of magic, but I never truly felt enthralled by it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself because I did. But I found myself distantly wishing for something more, but what, I couldn't say.
What became a surprise was seeing the Enchantress herself. I won't give out too many details, but she (and a newly created character) play a big role in this story! I really liked how Jennifer twisted the story we all know to include this. I felt like it really added to this side journey Belle took! I also really enjoyed seeing more of the Beast! Not that this was his story or anything, but we got to see more moments and whatnot that weren't really there in our classic story. Which yeah, totally get reasons and whatnot and how this story came about from the live action remake of the beloved animated! It's quite twisted in a sense, but as the same time I was seeing moments and just the characters themselves who reminded me of their animated selves.
This was truly a magical read! While I did find some of the story lacking in some way, I still enjoyed myself! This is truly a read for all Beauty and the Beast fans! And of course for every reader who has always wanted to literally dive into the world the book contains on its pages! Reader beware, for all is not at it seems in these worlds!
Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars--much confliction over how I wanted to rate this. Almost a 4 but not quite, yet still entirely better than a 3.5! And to think I deliberate too much on Goodreads and Amazon who scoff at the half star rating! Imagine what they'd feel at going so far as quarter ratings! LOL!
I received this ARC from a blogger friend in a trade. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I was more than happy to read one of Rachel Vincent’I received this ARC from a blogger friend in a trade. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I was more than happy to read one of Rachel Vincent’s many new releases this year early! 100 Hours is the start of one of her newest YA series and it’s definitely a different kind of read for me. We’re back to high stakes, thrills that chill, and a kidnapping situation surrounding an even bigger mystery.
Genesis, her cousins Maddie and Ryan, her boyfriend Holden, and a few best friends are having an excellent spring break in Colombia even though her father was against it. In fact, it’s because her father was against it that she wanted to go, plus her grandmother lives there and Genesis pretty much does whatever she wants to. My first issue with this one was pretty much Genesis herself. She’s what you would refer to as a rich b*tch. She’s selfish, conceited, and a bit of hypocrite. She has no redeeming qualities to her and I found it really hard to even like her. By the end, I guess you can say I almost like her, but still find her hypocritical tendencies to be one of her biggest flaws.
Maddie is the complete opposite of her. She’s not as rich for she and her family live in an apartment while Genesis’s father owns one of the largest shipping companies ever. Maddie isn’t near the wild child tendencies like her cousin, Genesis either. I also kind of enjoyed the fact that Maddie was more vulnerable. She is a diabetic, and it’s not that I liked that, but I liked having a heroine who wasn’t perfect. I grew up with my own medical issues, so seeing something (albeit completely and utterly different than my own) like that reflected in a book is kind of heartening. Showing that even if you have vulnerabilities, you can still pretty much kick butt! The two cousins are as different as night and day, but when their little rebel spring break trip literally turns into a hostage situation things get dicey really fast and they’ll learn just how similar they really are!
The book alternates between Genesis and Maddie’s points of view. I found it so weird in some ways since these two basically have nothing in common but blood. Genesis is selfish and uncaring, Maddie sometimes feels too much. Yet when the going gets tough these two look out for one another. Though ironically, they are separated for nearly half the book. I think I preferred Maddie’s chapters the most, because as I said, Genesis was rather unlikeable, but maybe we’re supposed to not like her. I don’t know. I just know that I basically felt no sympathy for her when she got a few eye-opening surprises thrown her way. And she wasn’t even really emotionally upset about them. And the fact that she ignores that she basically did the same thing, but not as “badly” as those around her really grated on my nerves, if you couldn’t already tell! Hopefully you can make some sense about my ramblings and vagueities as I’m really trying to avoid spoilers, though in the long run, this is pretty minor!
The title itself pretty much describes the length of the book. From the start we basically watch things happen and see them get even more dangerous as the hours tick down. I was actually surprised when I heard that this one was going to be a series, not sure on what kind of length yet though. But based on how this one ended there should definitely be at least one more! I mean there kind of has to what with that ending!
Though you could call this one a thriller of sorts, there is still some sprinklings of romance. i.e. a few kisses here and there! I was particularly fond of the relationship budding between Maddie and her newfound (though not really new) fellow! Lol! Yeah, I’m being vague in a few ways here about a lot of things because I don’t want to give anything away!
100 Hours was a fast paced read that kept me guessing the entire way! I loved watching these two entirely different people try to save themselves and their friends from a group of hostile terrorists! It was thrilling and exciting and you could even say explosive! It definitely had its interesting times! And the fact that we have a whopper of a cliffhanger at the end doesn’t leave me screaming at the universe at all*! *Lies
Hunted is my first Meagan Spooner book and I must say I quite loved it! Winding down on the Beauty and the Beast readathon I was happy to be able to sHunted is my first Meagan Spooner book and I must say I quite loved it! Winding down on the Beauty and the Beast readathon I was happy to be able to squeeze this new release in. I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews over this one which started to make me worry, so I kind of stopped reading them. And I will say that I am one of the ones who truly enjoyed this one!
There’s a different sort of air to this story, perhaps because our Beauty is living somewhere in Russia and has a different personality than all the Beautys who came before her. But she’s definitely one you will enjoy. She’s fond of the hunt though lately she’s been learning to be more ladylike. And that’s when her father loses everything. The family must sell all their worthy possessions and move to this small hunting cabin the woods where her father hopes to be able to hunt and sell pelts to pay off his investors whom he failed. But soon her father slowly begins to lose his mind it seems, as he starts raving about a beast in the woods who scared off all the animals and he was determined to hunt it down. But he never came back, so Yeva, our Beauty, brushes off her old hunting bow and starts to hunt around the cabin to take care of her sisters and then sets off into the woods to find her father after a long period of time has passed.
And it is then that Yeva encounters the Beast. But he’s not like any Beast we’ve seen before either. Every other chapter in this book is an excerpt from the Beast’s point of view. Almost like a journal entry and we can see how he fights with the animal and human side. Where one is always trying to take over the other. It was kind of insightful in some ways. After Yeva’s encounter with the Beast she is taken prisoner and befriends a young man on the other side of the door and she shares stories with him. Soon we meet the Beast in full and he has a certain task that only Yeva can perform, he wants her to go hunting.
While we do see trends in this book with the story that we all know and love, we can also see how this one stands out from the other. The location and culture are among those things! The stories Yeva indulges in were fairy tales from her childhood and it’s no surprise how big of a role they will play in the story as well.
Yeva definitely has more anger than any of the Beautys before her as well. She believes the Beast has killed her father and she swears to herself vengeance and that she will kill the Beast one day. She warns him of this too. The two basically don’t have that love connection going on like we slowly see revealed in the Disney movie. Here we definitely have something new and different. The romance itself isn’t really all that clear either. One moment the two hate each other and then in the next we see kindness. It almost makes your head spin, but yet I couldn’t help but like it.
One thing that was sort of unclear throughout was the curse itself. How the Beast became cursed really isn’t something that’s explored until the very end and even then, I wasn’t really positive that that was the curse itself. But I guess I was supposed to take that as fact. If anything that was the only issue I had in the book.
I liked how Meagan kept quite a bit from the original fairy tale and even the Disney movie as well and incorporated it into Hunted. We had a wealthy merchant lose everything and move to the woods. We had our Beauty with siblings, granted just two sisters, but they were a heck of a lot nicer than the original Beauty’s sister. Yeva’s sisterly bond was one thing I truly enjoyed about the story, though as to be expected, her sisters weren’t in the story too much. Yeva has a suitor who has eyes only for her. And he likes to hunt as well and Yeva really has no love for him, but this too was even different because he’s basically the opposite of Gaston! And even one of her dogs, Pelei kind of reminded me of Phillipe! Mostly in the moment she’s asking it “where’s father?”!
Hunted was truly a remarkable read! I quite enjoyed myself and loved seeing a fresh new take on The Beauty and the Beast story! Meagan really out did herself with this one! There was such a good balance of keeping true to the story that we all know and with adding in her own twists! And rumor has it that Meagan plans to write more fairy tale retellings! Truly hoping to see more of these that stick with the original fairy tale and of course with the Disney tidbits that we all know by heart! Be sure to add Hunted to your list for amazing fairy tale retellings because it’s truly not one to be missed!
Alwyn Hamilton rocked the bookish world with her debut Rebel of the Sands and her sequel, Traitor to the Throne is sure to take everyone’s breath awayAlwyn Hamilton rocked the bookish world with her debut Rebel of the Sands and her sequel, Traitor to the Throne is sure to take everyone’s breath away as well! This is a series that promises to be action packed until its very end and we all know that the conclusion will be just as thrilling as the first book!
We begin the story some months after the events of Rebel of the Sands. Jin is MIA on his own mission, having left when Amani got shot and took a while to heal. Amani finds herself being taken prisoner so that she can rescue some of her captured band members. And it’s really where all the trouble begins when one of the other prisoners calls her by her mother’s name.
It’s not long before the band of rebels are on the run again and Amani is taken prisoner only to be sold to the Sultan. No one knows where she is at since she was taken in the middle of the night and it will be up to her to save herself, and of course learn whatever information she can about the Sultan’s plans.
While it may seem like not much really happens progress wise in this one, you have to look deeper, because in fact a lot really does happen. Amani is sent to the harem in the Sultan’s palace and she’s surrounded by his wives and of course the Sultim’s wives as well, those three are the real villains for Amani. Amani is going to have to use skills and cunning attitude in order to find out any information that can help Ahmed and the rebels.
The Sultan keeps her prisoner with metals trapped under her skin. Without knowing where they are, Amani can do nothing but obey his commands. While in a sense I get that Amani has to follow the Sultan’s commands since she is a djinni and his prisoner, I felt like his commands weren’t very specific. All the djinns that I’ve come across in literature basically have it where you must be very, very explicit with your wishes or else the djinn will turn your wish against you. And we see that in some vague sense with other djinn in the story, but Amani finds herself to follow all these vague commands. For example, the Sultan says “follow her” to Amani in regards to following a servant. He’s not telling her when she needs to follow said servant but Amani does it right away. This happens quite frequently and I almost want to shout to Amani you don’t have to do it! He’s not saying WHEN you need to do said commands! Djinn have constantly been able to twist commands so that they are in their favor more than their master. I’m not sure if it’s because Amani is only the daughter of one and not a full blooded djinni that makes her more susceptible to vague commands, but I really didn’t care for her lack of “cunningness” when it came to her own personal being. This is one of the few things that drive me crazy throughout the book.
The other thing that I didn’t care for was the lack of Jin time. Jin is away for a part of the beginning and it’s for a mere moment or two before Amani is kidnapped that we get to see the two of them together. Then we get a little more togetherness towards the end, but it wasn’t quite enough. Since they were nearly inseparable in the first book I was kind of used to them together. And then it was because of the reasons behind all their separations that it didn’t lead to many swoony moments between them in the short time they had together. For Amani was quite peeved that Jin just disappeared after she was shot. Which, yeah, bad move, Jin!
There was a lot of tension in this one! Not really in the romantic sense either, but good old fashion tension where you don’t know what will happen to all our beloved characters! There’s a greater sense of danger too for it seems that the Sultan gets the upper-hand more than once throughout the book. And then people go missing, getting caught, there’s a LOT that happens that will have you gasping for breath and wondering at the fate of all of the rebels!
There was also a few new characters to pop into the story! Some get spoilery, but one that’s not is Sam! He is…something all right! LOL! He’s quite the character and I loved his smarmy attitude. It also looks like he’s been smitten by Shazad. Though he’s not in the story nearly enough for my liking I quite enjoyed what we did see of him and what we learn.
Which is another thing I wanted to mention! I can’t remember if the first book was like this or not either, but I loved how every now and then the story is put on “pause” for a storytelling of a different kind. Mythology plays a pretty big role in parts of the story, and I love that when the timing is just right, we actually get to know a little more about that myth or story within the story! The way it just fits seamlessly into the story at large is remarkable! It doesn’t really detract from Amani’s story at all, but it enhances it!
The ending to this one will amaze and surprise you! Just when you feel lost and confused and have no clue as to where things will end by the next book, we get to see a teeny, tiny light that will guide us there! There was still that same initial gut wrenching reaction though! This book will tear your feels anew!! The question is: are you ready for it?
Traitor to the Throne was one fast paced, action packed read! The characters continue to amaze and delight me as I kept turning the pages one by one! This book doesn’t fall anywhere close to that dreaded middle book syndrome! It’s pretty much on par with being as amazing as its predecessor! I cannot wait to see how this incredibly thrilling series will end next year!!
Dusting off the books from my Kindle, I decided to give The Ryu Morgue by Nicole Peeler a spin! It's been years since I finished the Jane True series,Dusting off the books from my Kindle, I decided to give The Ryu Morgue by Nicole Peeler a spin! It's been years since I finished the Jane True series, so I was excited to visit Ryu again! Ryu was Jane's ex who she broke up with for reasons. See Ryu now on a case with a human woman who basically hates all of supernatural kind.
Don't let this cover fool you, I was actually expecting some smexy times or at least one time, but really we don't get any of that. Which is actually pretty fitting to the story once you start reading it! Ryu and Maeve are two complete opposites, let alone that Maeve pretty much hates all supes (for reasons we'll learn eventually) and yet Ryu can't help but feel an attraction to this woman. Though romance is so far off the menu in this one. They were sent to the Golden Court to get the Queens there to join the Initiative but before they will even consider the offer, they want Ryu and Maeve to solve a recent rash of murders. Humans have been dying in very disconcerting ways, and since they're still trying to keep humans in the dark about supernaturals as much as possible and to basically save other humans from being killed, Ryu and Maeve take the case.
They find out all the victims had one thing in common, a trip to Napa prior to their deaths. So naturally, the two head to Napa in disguise as a couple! Shenanigans and overall mystery solving ensue that lead to quite the ending! This was a rather quick little read and I really enjoyed coming back to this world! I remember always loving it because it was so funny, and action packed and usually involving a few romantic interludes as well! This one has all that, minus the romantic interludes but there is a good heaping dose of sexual tension between Maeve and Ryu!
Overall a quick fun and quirky kind of read! I can't wait to (eventually) check out the other short stories from this world! A must read for all Jane True fans!
I picked up the next Dorothy Must Die novella on a whim, Danielle Paige’s Order of the Wicked is the seventh installment in the nine part prequel storI picked up the next Dorothy Must Die novella on a whim, Danielle Paige’s Order of the Wicked is the seventh installment in the nine part prequel story of how things got so crazy in Oz when Dorothy came back. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been in this world, I still need to read Yellow Brick War! So I wasn’t too familiar with our leading characters.
Lanadel has just joined the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked after having her family, as well as her entire village, massacred by Dorothy’s minions. She wants revenge and she believes that by joining the crusade against Dorothy with the other witches that she might find it. But she learns it’s not as easy of a task as she initially thought.
The training is grueling, with Nox as her trainer she’s worked until she’s black and blue. A few of her other initiates aren’t as welcoming either. The only bright spot for Lanadel is Melindra. But it seems Melindra’s heart is already spoken for. It’s in a very short amount of time that Lanadel’s eyes are opened by the things she sees and learns and is questioning her own choices. It’s a messy sort because she doesn’t really have any regrets.
Things were pretty complicated in this one. Mostly because I couldn’t remember Lanadel, or if we even met her! I want to say we did, hence the reason why she has a novella of her own. But my lacking memory really put a damper on this one. I still enjoyed seeing this world of course and getting a little more background to what Oz turned into ever since Dorothy came back and before good ol’ Amy comes in. I really think it was my lack of memory that kept me from truly enjoying this one, but still, it was a fun read.
I received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
TheI received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
There’s nothing I love more than being able to read part of a series back to back…well, binging a series is also fun too, same concept, but more finality to it that way! Regardless, I couldn’t bring myself to wait another year to start Temple West’s Velvet trilogy and after finding that I really enjoyed that one I immediately went to book two, Cashmere.
Cashmere picks up a few months after the events of Velvet. Lucian is still missing and Tommie aka the name of the man who is being possessed by Adrian’s demon father, is also unaccounted for. Add to that we have Guard (there was a more specific name but of course I’ve forgotten it!) members in town, sent by the Council, leading the search for Lucian. Things are incredibly tense! Adrian and Caitlin must still play their roles from last time, Adrian being the bodyguard and they can’t allow their feelings to ever show through or else there will be hell to pay.
Caitlin has been offered a grand opportunity with an internship at a fashion designer where other high school students attend for one month. There she can live out her dream of being a designer and learn the trade through experience. Though the Guard has sent bodyguards with her, sadly not Adrian, because they still believe she could be important to Adrian’s dad and requires watching over. But naturally, we learn there’s more to it than that. I still don’t feel like we have a very good idea of what exactly Caitlin is. We get a name and some possible theories, all we know is that it’s something the Council doesn’t like.
I struggle to accurately explain why I enjoy these books. When I look at all my notes and reflect on things, you would think I would be put off by it. True, this time around we have less romance focused plots and none of the cliché tropes, so I was happier about that. But the pacing is still a little off. I mean we have like a month of time before the internship and then a month at the internship and it’s like we live out each and every one of those days with Caitlin. All while the search for Lucian is going down and while Caitlin and Adrian and Julian try to figure out what exactly she is and what it means. You would think it would bog me down having to drag through so many non-critical moments…and yet, I’m not! It’s weird, because pacing is usually an issue for me. If it’s too slow, I’m likely to quit the series after giving the first book a go, but I find I am still really enjoying these characters and the storyline itself!
We get a newly added character thrown into the mix, Kalare. She’s a vampire and a sort of Guard member. But she’s very different from the others in her group. Kalare is kind of sassy and I loved it! I feel like I could totally be BFFs with her! Caitlin is like her polar opposite with being more bubbly about things so it was kind of funny that these two slowly become friends! And oh yes, there’s definitely some tension between her and Julian…of the romantic kind of course! And Caitlin may or may not take advantage of this at one point! I’m most excited to see if more things develop between them!
Another thing I enjoy is how Caitlin continues to try to balance her normal life with her somewhat twisted paranormal life. Or at least involvement with the paranormal peeps! She has human friends with very human like troubles and I admire her. She’s very conscientious about other’s feelings it seems like and she tires hard to maintain her friendships with her human gal pals while trying to continue to keep Adrian and his family’s secret, secret. Though I was surprised to see that she and Trish were on the outs in this one, for a great deal of time. Trish was another favorite of mine! This series so far has done very well for itself if balancing Caitlin’s life with normalcy and paranormalcy. She’s struggling to figure out the big secret that surrounds her life these days and I feel like we only just reached the surface of all that mystery!
There was a lot less kissing in this one! Granted our star-crossed lovers are separated for most of it, and they’re trying to keep their (true) love a secret from pretty much all the vampires, except Julian for as we already know, he knows about them! We aren’t left completely in wanting though, and trust me on this…less is more! Lol!
The ending was pretty shocking too! Far more scandalous than Velvet’s cliffhanger. I feel like this one came in parts! So I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on the next one! And it seems safe to say, it shouldn’t (hopefully) take Temple as long to write this one! Cashmere is another perfect example of why vampire romances will always have a special place in my heart!
So apparently there’s this book called Caraval by debut author Stephanie Garber. You’ve likely been seeing hype about if for the past year. I know I hSo apparently there’s this book called Caraval by debut author Stephanie Garber. You’ve likely been seeing hype about if for the past year. I know I have. And all I have to say to that is: It’s warranted!! Caraval was absolutely freaking amazing!! I’ll admit, I didn’t jump on this bandwagon as quickly as others, but I think that was the best decision because it meant my wait wasn’t nearly as torturous! I even stopped reading reviews, because I decided I wanted to go into this book completely blind! And I have to say, that really, totally worked out for me in the best possible way!
Scarlett and Tella are two sisters who have an abusive father. After their mother ran away some years back, their father kind of got a little darker. Scarlett and Tella have always protected one another, that’s why when Scarlett marries her fiancé of an arranged marriage, she plans on bring Tella with her away from her father’s cruel hand. For years, Scarlett has written to the legendary Caraval Master Legend begging him to bring his legendary game to her island home. Then one day it happens, sort of. Scarlett received tickets for three to attend Caraval at an island not too far from her home. But Scarlett has grown up and knows that attending isn’t quite possible. Until Tella takes matters into her own hands.
Tella convinces a sailor, Julian, that she has recently met to take her and her sister to this island to play the game. But it’s not long before Tella is taken and Scarlett will have to play the game if she wishes to rescue her sister and win the prize of one wish.
This story really took me by surprise in some ways. We’re constantly reminded that it’s only a game, but naturally I did indeed forget this at times! There are so many hidden dangers is this world that Scarlett finds herself in. Then there’s Julian who has stuck by her side despite the fact that these two rarely get along. Though despite the odds, a friendship of sorts is formed.
In some twisted way, this book reminded me of L.J. Smith’s The Forbidden Game trilogy. Yes, we have the mysterious Julian either way, but there’s also a game to be played, a dangerous game. Granted the two have so many differences from one another, but it was just like a very light and gentle similarity in the grand scheme of things. And I think because of that, I found myself really enjoying this one!
Granted, we still have impeccable storytelling going on! Caraval was pure magic! There was so much buildup to this story! So many details, and it doesn’t come across as wordy. It’s beautifully written! The characters were all extra ordinary and they all had so much depth to them! Not to mention how thick the plot was! It would seem that things are easily perceived, but as the story goes on, the plot truly thickens! Never has that description really applied so well to a book, for me, before, Caraval defeats all the odds!
The pacing of this book was spot on! Every now and then you come across that book where the pacing isn’t quite fast, but nowhere near slow, and leaves you utterly hooked from the first page! Caraval is one of those kinds of books!
Then there’s the spine-tingling romance. Pretty much from the start you know that there might be something happening between Scarlett and Julian, despite being engaged to a man she’s never met before. And I love that it was the gradual kind. Where our characters aren’t quite friends, then you move towards something like comrades with bouts of teasing and then moving into friendship and after that, you pretty much know where things are headed! As I said, a nice gradual buildup to something more! The best kind of romance!
The ending to this one…the ending was superb! Just when you think you might have uncovered the secrets of Caraval, you learn how wrong you are! And trust me, there’s nothing wrong with being wrong! LOL! I’d like to tell you that this fantabuolous novel doesn’t end with a cliffhanger to drive you mad for the next some odd 365 days, but I can’t. I will say that the ending even with said cliffhanger isn’t as agonizing as others have been. But it does leave you with a few more mysteries and puzzles that you’re itching to solve and a possible direction for the next book! Which I most certainly cannot wait to read!!
Forget everything you’ve heard about Caraval to date. Forget my review even. Caraval is truly a read you must experience for yourself! Go in completely blind and unhindered by the vast majority of opinions. You will not be disappointed with this one! Let the story and magic that is Caraval sweep you away…and remember it’s only a game!*
*Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding that one! Heehee!