Book Stop -ARC Review – Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (US and Canada) Inkyard Press

Expected Publish Date: June 11th 2019

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I requested and received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the publisher Harlequin Teen and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for allowing me to read and review this author’s work!

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5!! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Throw in the action, intrigue, character chemistry and intensity, and intermittent humor with a Bad A sarcastic FMC and you have an equation for success! I am a huge sucker for the strong FMC, and no matter how many times I read stories with one, they get me every time! Full disclosure I am a Jennifer L. Armentrout fan. I did read the blurb, however, I was not expecting this to be a spin off series. I think that is why I had to dial back the star power a little. My OCD kicks in when I feel like I’m being dropped in the middle of a story and the already developed relationships portrayed in the book as well as the hints of past adventures put my radar up which made me have to pause and go digging for the root series. So.. heads up this is a spin off to all you out there looking to pick up your newest series addiction, but you may want to start at the beginning or you’ll wind up back paddling in the same boat as me lol.

Trinity, our FMC, lives in a community of gargoyle shifters called Wardens, but she herself is not one. She comes across human but she has a secret.. of BAD A proportions. Training most of her life with her sworn guardian protector, she knows she is a weapon but she must also stay hidden for everything hunts her kind, and she is one of the last. Of course, the staying hidden and protected part of the deal, that’s not really her jam. She senses the rise in demon activity. It is the gargoyles duty to police the demons and they just aren’t working fast enough for her tastes… especially once her bonded guardian is kidnapped. Teaming up with Zayne, the annoying and handsome Warden from another clan who might have some secret shady contacts seems to be her best bet to bring back her bonded brother. Trinity discovers pretty quickly the black and white world she grew up in has way more shades of gray than come in the crayon box. She must now decide what side she is playing for because of course there are always sides.. and whether or not she can live with the side she picks. She must also come to grips with the fact that those she loves may be on a different side of this war that seems to be brewing…

Love love Trinity! A tiny bit word vomit, with all the sarcasm, and the skills to back up the trash talk. I’ve been holding out in 2019 on picking my new FMC girl crush but shes definitely going on my list. I can’t wait to see more of this series!
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Book Stop – ARC Review – The Warrior by Sarah Fine

The Warrior by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: 47 North

Expected Publication: March 26, 2019

Series: The Immortal Dealers #3

Genre: Fantasy

Requested and received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the Publisher 47 North in exchange for an honest review

3.5 Stars rounded up to 4. I rounded up because as a whole the series was pretty good. I think with this series I have had a little expectation versus reality come to Jesus. What kept me from full out 4ing the book rather than just rounding up, was the fact that in every book since the epicness of book one, I have been pulling for Ernie to become a real Bad A. Have you ever just really wanted something for someone so badly, only to be disappointed when they don’t live up to the expectations you have set for them? Is it really their fault? Honestly, I have wanted it so bad for her that every time it doesn’t happen I think I loose a little of myself.. Though in this book of the series, Ernie does represent a little better, I find that once again my expectations and desire to see her not only succeed but mop some floor with people were dashed. Even with all the events of the book lining up perfectly, I mean its like she got bit by the dang radioactive spider…. I find that as a whole I was underwhelmed by her again. The story itself is so great and so original. I still get Yu-Gi-oH flashbacks a little.

This 3rd book in the series here picks up right about where book 2 left off. Ernie and her not so allied “allies” are now dealing with their new forager who seems to have some pretty benevolent plans for each of the dealers. That is until they realize this new forager just specializes in manipulation and each of the dealers are just a playing piece in her game of death, destruction, and power. As Ernie once again begs and pleads for everyone to work together, because lets face it ya’ll she just doesn’t quite cut the mustard by herself, she gets the cold shoulder left and right because of the disasters of book 2. Finding the sunrise relic, like the last forager warned her to do, Ernie unlocks a whole new mess upon herself and her friends. A mess of powers left over from a previous forager. Needing her help to explain what is happening to her and her friends they turn toward this remnant of an forager, Phoebe, for help. Phoebe, seems to be the answer to their prayers, benevolent, kind, helpful… but her long game may just put all the dealers in an even worse mess and its up to Ernie and her friends to actually team up for a change to make a difference in the way things are done!

I feel like my review is coming off a little Ernie hater-aideish.. that’s not the case, I like Ernie.. I just wanted more from her and find that she just never quite lived up to my expectations of her. I’m now left wondering what is in store for this group! Surely we aren’t at the end of the story.. maybe just the end of this leg in the journey? I would love to see more from this world with its interesting magic concepts. Maybe pit our dealers against some new enemy? Either way I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from this author in the future!
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Book Stop – Kindle Unlimited Binge Cont. – The Ugly(ish)

It never fails that eventually we aren’t going to like a book. I wonder, at times, how authors deal with just plain ole meh reviews, not the raving types but the 2 star reviews? How many authors really take into consideration what those people say for their next books? I like to be honest about how I feel about books with the intention not to hurt anyone’s feelings but to throw out my own feelings and maybe help an author or reader in the future. Full disclosure, I’ve been reading some things that are not necessarily popping up on my recommended for a Goodreads description challenge so that may be why I’m running train through some not so enjoyable reads. That being said I’ve come across a couple books this past week that just weren’t for me. They have some good reviews, so evidently they are for someone but apparently my door swings a different way.

The Deadly Game by G. Bailey and Coralee June

The Deadly Game by G. Bailey and Coralee June

Published: October 31st 2018

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If this wasn’t one of the shortest books I’ve ever read then I might have DNf’d it. What is sad is that the book has one of the more interesting premises but was so insanely rushed that it couldn’t have even begun to be developed. It was a skeleton of what it could be.. which oddly seems a little fitting with the cover. Either way I felt we were left with the bones of what could have been something great. For those of you new to G. Bailey’s work.. this is not the norm, though she writes fast paced books often its not usually this fast paced. There is no world building, we are just thrown in here willy nilly, sink or swim. There isn’t really any backstory other than thrown in tidbits to try and fill some holes here and there. There was no time for character development or even for the story to fully develop into anything, however, smut… there was plenty of that, and sappy insta love with no real adversity.

Thrown into the middle of this game.. with no real backstory of how the game actually started.. apparently humans are captured and forced to participate for witches who want to have a few minutes contact with the dead. This game can be deadly and requires great sacrifice on the human’s behalf… Mila our FMC is saved from one group of witches only to be used by another, one of which happens to be some random guy she went to grade school with.. who she doesn’t even remember.. even though hes apparently her soul mate… The Hex coven, 3 brothers, decide to use Mila to win the games in order to summon their brother to identify his killer so they can get revenge. A super rushed tiny adventure with lots of smut and no real depth ensues..4

Luckily it is a fast read.. so .. there is that.. This is also a standalone so what you see is what you get. If your looking for some explanations then your looking for too much…

This review came off a little harsh.. but in no way did it color my feelings for these authors. I read a lot of G. Baileys books when I come across them on my KU recommended feed so I’m not quite sure what happened here but doesn’t effect whether I’ll pick up her next book!
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Silk and Steel by Ariana Nash and Pippa DaCosta

Silk & Steel by Ariana Nash and Pippa DaCosta

Publisher: Crazy Ace Publishing

Published: January 18th 2019

Series: Silk and Steel #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was not prepared for this, I didn’t read the blurb before starting this book, that was my bad. About 10% in, I had to take a breather and go back and read it. I have to be honest though, the blurb is a tad misleading. It gives the idea that there is some story here, but I could barely find it amidst the smut. The whole book had some Anne Rice “Sleeping Beauty” vibes, but with way less consensualness… pretty sure that is not a word but I’m just going to roll with it. I was also very unprepared for the venom with which the certain races viewed our male characters and their sexual preferences. Maybe the author was trying to draw attention to it, like calling attention to it in real life? I don’t know it just didn’t set well with me, and it was never resolved which made me even further uncomfortable. The blurb is the backstory and the world building here. Once you start your thrown in..

Our main characters are Lysander – prince of dragons, chained by his roll in the amethyst dragon society, and constantly belittled and insulted by his oh so very evil and messed up mother the queen, for being “broken” because he is only attracted to guys. Eroan, elf assassin of the order, come to murder the queen but is stopped by Lysander and ends up becoming a prisoner and tortured mercilessly at the queens whim. The queen uses Eroan to get Lysander to be more cooperative in her schemes to use him, basically as a brood mare, that is up until she pushes Lysander too far and he snaps. This causes chaos in the amethyst kingdom as well as allowing Eroan to escape with secrets to defeat the dragons.. Lysander must flee to a different dragon kingdom or face the wrath of his people, but turns out its just as bad.. Eroan journeys to make alliances to bring down all of dragon kind and end the age of dragons..

Truth be told here there just wasn’t really, hardly any story.. The characters were never truly developed enough for me to actually become involved with them.. I’m not even sure I ever really felt “sorry” for them.. which is kind of frightening considering what they go through.. some of it is pretty horrific. There was just a lot of smut, and anger, and shame, and it was just kind of sad I think. I did discover after reading it that there is a preceding Novella that might have a little more info in it to start a reader off. So if your interesting in reading this you might look for that first.
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Heart of the Goblin King by Lisa Manifold

Heart Of The Goblin King by Lisa Manifold

Publisher: OTI Press

Published: June 15th 2016

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Series: Realm #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5ish rounded up to 2. I am not even sure where to start this.. Ok, for this entire book it was like an outline was laid out with certain plot points the author wanted to hit. These plot points in themselves weren’t a problem whatsoever, and would probably have made a decent story, if not for the stuff between them. The “journey” or “meat” of the story for instance: the dialogue, backstory, world building, character depth, DETAILS… These things get you from one plot point to the next, tiny little details that push you in the direction you need to go to reach the next point. I felt like these were all almost afterthoughts.. Where the author suddenly realized that her story wasn’t where it needed to be to hit the next point so she just threw something in to hurry it on its way.. It was quite jarring, incredibly convenient, horribly obvious and kind of sloppy.

Lets start out with our FMC Iris. Iris is apparently college age, however acts like a spoiled 10? year old. So much so that she actually throws a tantrum, in the story. For realz. That’s about it on that front. Brennan honestly we don’t really see much of him unless he is in the middle of a temper tantrum as well.. and then mostly he storms off. I feel like these characters had absolutely no chemistry nor were there any interactions to convey to the reader that these characters had any feelings for each other, other than some vague referencing and denials.. I really believe that in the author’s mind the chemistry was there but it just never made it to the page, so the reader was like ummm what?

The “mystery” of the story, who is attacking Brennan.. was very poorly executed. The attacks happen, no one finds any real clues, the dragon kingdom may or may not have something to do with it BAM the culprit identifies himself via note in an area of the castle having nothing to do with anyone or the story, nor is there ever even a real motive given… The most anticlimactic ending after a very poorly done reveal.

During all this above.. we have characters whose dialogues all seem a little forced being pushed in the direction of the next plot point. Almost like they are just filling space on the page not really saying anything significant and then all of a sudden saying one thing to push us on to the next scene. It wasn’t hard to get through, it just seemed a little juvenile.. maybe? The book itself was super short and not hard… at all to follow. It just wasn’t…. yea it just wasn’t for me I guess. That is all…
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Well there you have it. A couple books that just weren’t my jam and why. When I wrote these reviews I wasn’t ranting and raving or anything though I can go there just like everyone else. I will say that I buddy read all of these with a friend and she had different opinions than me on one of the books. It just goes to show you that just because I might have a negative opinion or something caught and rubbed me wrong doesn’t mean it will everyone else! So if you decide to grab these off KU, Happy Reading and feel free to let me know what you think maybe it will open me up to a new experience!

Bookstops…and then some..

So we have been having wonderful weather in our neck of the woods… or town w/e, lately, and so I have been running train on some audio’s that fit our Goodreads group challenge “Gimme a V” for this month, all the while I knock out my seemingly never ending honey “do this or else” list. I’ve become aware of multiple things…

1. My beloved huskies Jake and Jax are sick and tired of winter, it being too cold to get in our “long” walks, as evidenced by the multiple holes dug in the back yard and the several successful escape attempts over the past week or two.

2. The search for audios on KU when I need a quick fix is getting harder and harder.

Therefor in light of these discoveries, I have started a list of KU audio’s that I super enjoyed and hope that I can con some of you guys to into pointing me in the direction of more, and also we over the last couple days have gotten in some good long walks with the boys, and I got pictures…

Jake and Jax my beautiful fur babies!

I also got some pictures of my husband and his idea of “walking the dogs.” I can see now why one of the wagon wheels are bent….

Either way with the walks and the chores I got in some audio and snuck in some reading time (hiding in the bathroom). Here are a couple new reviews:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Published: June 4th 2013

Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2Grishaverse

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Really I’m thinking 3.5 for this continuation because I was on the cusp of loving it, honestly, I’m just ready for some end game here. I’m a little discouraged at the end of this book, we need something good for morale. I will say that the addition of certain quirky, sarcastic and charming princely characters really was necessary for some intermittent humor and the occasional pick me up. Though it did turn a little darker, I don’t necessarily agree with others that it was all Alina, honestly I feel like we take a turn after the first book and we are left with almost no hope for a while. Alina spends a lot of this book coming to grips with herself basically, she is still on that “I want a normal life” train for a lot of this book. Despite the Darkling and Nikolai and so many other people really needing her to step up she is clinging to Mal and her old life so hard it gave the book kind of a depressing feel as she battles through that.

In this second book of the GrishaVerse series. Alina and Mal don’t last long on their own. Alina suppressing her power once again begins to turn her back into the sickly wafe she was before she discovered it, and Alina is having a really hard time dealing with some self inflicted guilt over the occurrences in the last book. Recaptured by the Darkling, they soon discover that he has plans to make Alina even more powerful, maybe even into something else, and he has a whole new bag of intimidating tricks. While fighting for the next amplifier, they escape with the help of my new favorite character in this series. The dashing, clever, charming, and entirely ridiculous privateer Sturmhond and his crew of misfits turn the tide on the darkling and help Alina escape, to be taken to his “client.” Agreeing to head back to the kingdom in order to save Ravka, Alina and Mal are shocked and dismayed to find out the Privateers actual identity, Nikolai Lantsov, yadda yadda, etc etc. AKA big fat lying sack of…. ahem. Alina and Nikolai ally up, and the king agrees to let Alina command what is left of the Grisha.. which is a whole lotta headache in itself. They await the Darkling’s next move, while they uncover the identity of a third amplifier and come closer and closer to Alina’s true purpose… albeit maybe too late…..

Though I can’t say we are left on a cliffhanger, truthfully we are left with some shocking information from Alina, and a super uncertain future. Who knows where this adventure is headed next. I do hope Alina comes into some self confidence before the next book and goes ape crap all over some Darkling…. but we shall see…

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The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

Publisher: Skyscape

Published: August 19th 2014

Series: The Vanishing Girl #1

Genres: NA, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi, YA

The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I need to start off by saying I listened to the audio, which was available on KU, while knocking things off my honey do list. I thought the narrator Rachel Vivette did a great job. She has one of those voices where I spent most of the book trying to figure out what other books I’ve listened to her narrate but couldn’t figure it out lol. I’m not sure if its the story line itself that kept me from loving this or the intense unfairness of this whole situation. I liked the book, it was interesting, had a kind of syfy feel, and was unique, I just couldn’t seem to reconcile the fact that there was some genetic tampering to increase defiance in our FMC, and yet we are just being played like a pawn.

FMC, Ember, discovered at puberty that she is different from everyone else. As soon as she goes to sleep for brief intervals she teleports somewhere else. Starting off in the story, this was a tad confusing and a little jarring because there really isn’t alot of information about this or any backstory really but we slowly get more and more answers as well as uncover all kinds secrets as the plot progresses. Lately during her teleportation episodes she has wound up in strange places with strange and sometimes disturbing written instructions on her person. During one of her more strange episodes she breaks into a safe, and just knows she is going to be busted for it. However, the next day to her astonishment just when she thinks she is going to jail, her mother breaks down and tells her she has been apart of a government program since conception, in fact this program is what caused her conception to even be possible, and now she has to pay for it via military service. Immediately she thinks to run but has no shot against this caliber of military and she finds herself in a group home, military school, type setting with almost no hope of escape, but she has finally found others with abilities like hers. Apparently she has been genetically engineered to be a weapon and now its time to do her thing. As she becomes more oriented to her tasks, she slowly discovers more and more about this program and the people who run it and becomes horrified by some of the things she finds, while at the same time she becomes closer and closer to her “pair” Caden…/sigh. Ember begins playing a dangerous game of discover and expose all the while trying to keep her and Caden from becoming one more file in a growing list of teleporters dead due to “splicing,” and each mission gets more and more dangerous but maybe not as dangerous as home base….

Character wise, though Ember did start to grown on me, I really wasn’t a huge fan of her for a lot of the story. She’s very hostile and negative for most of the story and it comes across as immature at times. Caden on the other hand… comes across as almost too perfect with his super human everything and soft sensitive side… Give the dude some flaws already… geez. Secrets and reveals come a little slow here which had me at the “omg I’mma pull my hair out” stage frequently lol. The story line also didn’t give very much time to really know and develop the characters and relationships due to missions and sleuthing etc. I think I personally, would have been more invested if maybe I had more of that.

All in all, I felt it was an interesting, and pretty entertaining read but it was just missing a little something that really captivated my heart so, to speak. I would, however, like to see where its headed so I’ll probably eventually pick up book 2… but I’m not beating down the book store door.. yet.

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Book Stop – A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

Publisher: Bantam

Published: March 4th 2003

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #3

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My immediate thoughts following this book were: What devilry is this where I can read a book full of characters I can barely stand and still remain riveted on their stories. I almost wanted to continue straight into the next book. Sorcery I tell you! George RR Martin is a sorcerer!!! Never have I ever.. and all that jazz! I have been buddy reading this series, because I’m not sure I could do it alone. I mean really there are just times in this series where you just need a breather and some friend to “talk me down.” Its amazing to me how reading actually effects me emotionally outside of a book lol. I’m not sure that I have ever cheered so hard when people end up dead in a story… sort of disturbing I think lol. This writing style is so unlike anything I have ever read before… where each chapter can end in a cliffhanger and you have to wait 10 chapters or so to get answers.

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Book Stop – Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

Publisher: Rain Press

Published: August 31st 2017

Series: Vampire for Hire #1

Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Picked this up of KU as an audio to listen to while I was getting some stuff done. As an audio it wasn’t too bad. The narrator really portrayed the main character dryly so that may be reflected in my rating. Since I actually listened to the entire book I can’t say if the FMC was actually dry or if it was just the narrator. So, the reasons it really was only ok for me were both story line and world building related. I felt that the characters, at least the FMC who we spend the entire book with was pretty well rounded, and I really felt for her issues!

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Book Stop – Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Publisher: Skyscape

Published: August 28th 2012

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1

Angelfall by Susan Ee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well well well. What have we here! This book was surprising! I found this after the longest 30 mins ever searching through audio books on KU in desperation for something I could listen to while painting a living room! We all need at least one audio book on hand for when we don’t have the time to actually sit and do the reading ourselves and my audio well has been running dry. Found this beauty hiding like 50 pages in and so glad I did. Let me start by saying I felt the Narrator, Caitlyn Davies, did a pretty good job. I was confused at first by the childlike voice she gave the FMC, but after a few chapters in it grew on me.

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Book Stop – Prism Cloud

Prism Cloud by Jeff Wheeler

Publisher: 47 North

Publish Date: March 5, 2019

Series: Harbinger #4

Prism Cloud by Jeff Wheeler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“YOU’RE KILLING ME SMALLS!” Basically sums up my feelings at the end of yet another wonderful book in this series. I have given this 5 stars but as I have previously stated in some reviews etc, some authors need their own star chart. Prism Cloud for me was 4.5 stars on the Jeff Wheeler star chart because it didn’t quite get me like some of the Kingfountain series books did but it was still amazing! Really though I look at this like a continuation of the series’ I know and love instead of its own series! I am terrified of the next book. gulp

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Mark of the Brannon by Emma Shelford

Publisher: Createspace

Published: October 2014

Series: Breenan Series #1

Mark of the Breenan by Emma Shelford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good, light, and enjoyable read! I felt like not only did the author give us a taste of a complex world I think it was done pretty well. I may be biased due to the fact that I love a fairy or fae book so I’m kind of a sucker. I think that this book had a little extra something, a little uniqueness that made it really enjoyable learning about the world. There were also some very unique concepts in the story that kept it fresh. I had absolutely no trouble falling right into the story. Honestly, I felt the author did a good job with the world building, during the first parts of the story I had absolutely no problem picturing every scene especially early in the book. I will say that once we “took a trip” so to speak that though I didn’t really feel like I couldn’t picture the scenes, there were a lot of places where there seemed to be a ton of information dumped on both the characters and the reader… the characters seemed to have no problems just going with it which may be a tad unrealistic… but hey its fantasy.. lucky for you tha’ts what I like.

I really liked our FMC Gwen who has a shy reserved personality throughout the most of the book but through her journey has started to really come out of her shell. Aidan, surprisingly I’m a little on the fence with. Its suprising because I switch book boyfriends at least twice a day. 😉 I really was into him up until we took a trip to the other world. For some reason, once we got there he seemed to kind of take a back seat… though he was there the whole time he didn’t really get to develop like Gwen did and by the end of the book I felt like he lacked intensity, especially since the other male characters in the book were super intense and mysterious. Even Bran, with his playful, class clown, bad boy thing he had going was higher on my list by the end of the book.

Our FMC, 18 year old college student Gwen, comes from a single parent home, constantly longing for her mother who after a brief session with her father, deposited a new born Gwen on his steps never to be seen again. Left with only a portrait drawn by her father, and the name Isolde, Gwen and her father have spent a lot of time searching for her with no luck. Not only does she not know her mother, she also has a problem when she gets over emotional, things happen with no explanation. In an unlikely spurt of adventurousness Gwen travels overseas to England for, what seems to be an exchange type program though it is not really described in detail. Cut to England, where Gwen and Ellie are learning about “British stuff.” On a trip around the local village and surrounding area Gwen comes into contact with some things that bring her “powers” to the surface which is both confusing and intriguing to her. Her we come to an area that was never explained nor did the story come back to it… The lady with the purple door. Unexplained mystery here. While exploring the local village they come to a pub and meet Aiden local bartender extraordinaire..but that isn’t the only stranger they meet. Ellie has an unexplainable draw to Corann and is fierce about her devotion right after meeting. Gwen is uncomfortable and wary of Corann. During a “ball” at the school Ellie is seen leaving with Corann and Gwen and Aiden decide to follow.. leading them on a journey they aren’t likely to forget. Gwen comes face to face with her past… and some new future possibilities.

All in all I thought the story was entertaining, and light making it a great quick read. I would definitely be interested to see what else is in store for Gwen in the series!

* I was given the opportunity to join the advanced reader team for this book through Book Sirens and the author Emma Shelford in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank both for the opportunity! *

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Book Stop

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt and Company

June 5th 2012

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1Grishaverse

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rounded 4.5 up to 5 because… have you ever raced across town in a desperate attempt to get home to your computer to post a freaking update because your mind had just been blow by a book while waiting in the grocery store checkout line….. This legit happened to me today! I thought this book was great, and I had to give it 5 stars as I might not have come to a complete stop at one of the stop signs on the end of my street… we can just keep that on the DL though.

I have been putting this author off for a while now… I know I sincerely apologize now. I did this mainly because a lot of times I have been disappointed not because a book was bad.. more so because there are so many glowing reviews and a book doesn’t move me the way it does all my friends or sometimes even the general public lol. So I waited along time to put my heart out there… it was worth the wait for me! Super enjoyable read made all that more enjoyable by the fact that it was a buddy read and I could rant and rave about things!

We start with our FMC, Alina, and her best friend Mal, both orphans and peasants, being “tested” to see if the are Grisha. Grisha who are… basically they are freaking magicians ok but also they take offense to that and prefer “practitioners of the Small Science.” I’m going to be honest here, yes it is referred to science, however, it is never explained in depth in any scientific terms really other than maybe the manipulation of mater but not how this actually occurs… Both Alina and Mal are found “not” not to have a connection with the “science.” After this fast forward to Alina and Mal in the King’s army amidst a war with the surrounding lands… I do wish we had a little bit more info on the politics of this war.. its my understanding that its just a hate war… and maybe even the Grisha are part of the problem? Not only is there a war among the different people but also there is the “Fold,” an area of absolute darkness, created hundred of years ago by an evil dark wielding sorcer… ahem scientist. In this fold reside dark creatures that prey upon all who enter. The people are trapped by this and hunted by the darkness. They are desperate for a savior to demolish the fold. Alina and Mal are both stationed near the fold, and during a mission they are attacked by these evil volcra and Alina in a fit of awesomeness and desperation does something not seen before by other Grisha. Not knowing or understanding what has happened Alina is tested once again and deemed to be a “sun summoner.” From here, Alina is whisked away to the castle and shoved into training and court life, portrayed as the savior of the people. In a battle with herself, her magic, and her fears of being alone and unwanted, she is made vulnerable to those who would pray on her naivete for their own endeavors. Alina’s choices from here on out may effect the whole world… and who should she trust if anyone..?

Character wise, Alina, for the most part is a pretty pessimistic and melancholy type starting out. I feel like she does a lot of developing through the book. Its always great when a character grows with the reader, it creates a great bond and for me personally makes me much more invested in the outcomes. I also love that we have Genya, the exact opposite of Alina as the BFF material. This created a great chemistry and diversity that was both entertaining to me, and engrossing.

We definitely had some mind blowing reveals that sucker punched me as evidenced by my speedy rush home… I am both terrified and excited for where this story is going and so glad to be on this journey! I know I must pace myself and not go off on a binder…. at least that is what I keep saying in my head…

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