Book Stop

Well I got 3 new reviews for you guys! Two of these were part of a series buddy read I’ve been doing with some Goodreads friends.

Shrill Dusk by Helen Harper

Publisher: BookBuzz

Published: January 4th 2019

Series: Book #1

Shrill Dusk by Helen Harper

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I received a copy of this through NetGalley and the author Helen Harper in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those books where I really just didn’t know how to rate it. I almost want to really break everything down and rate everything individually because there were some aspects of this book that were really enjoyable for me, and at the same time I had major issues with the story line which I will explain a little more in depth in a minute. Let me start with the authors note at the beginning of the book:

Some of the events in Shrill Dusk overlap the events in Skulk of Foxes, the final book in the
Fractured Faery series, however both books can be read separately.


So after reading this, despite my OCD and not liking ever feeling like I’ve been pushed off in the middle of a story, I didn’t go back and binge the previous series. I agree that this book can be read separately, because though they are in the same world and I could see events that may or may not be “overlapping,” Charley’s, our FMC, story does seem like a different tale… That being said the first half of the book was world building, and detailing the “overlapping” events. This in itself was… confusing the way it played out. At least for me. There is just a whole lot of the book describing and detailing events that really have nothing to do with Charley. Yes during that time we are getting to know Charley and her crew of misfits as well as progression past where I would assume the other book leaves off but at the same time I think the confusion would have all been solved by a synopsis of events or even a flashback before/after rather than taking such a long time to overlap the events. I also reserve the right to change my opinion if I ever go back and read the starter series lol. I just felt, at this point not having read the first series, that most of the story wasn’t Charley’s. Also, I’m honestly not sure where this is going as the ending has really thrown me. We don’t seem to have an arch enemy or a quest of any kind… I can see where more stories from this world could continue to be entertaining but I wasn’t left with a need “to find out” anything… if that makes sense.

World building wise I had no trouble falling into this book. So I would rate that 3+ stars as that is not always the case lol. I also really liked Charley’s character and felt that she had a wonderful sarcastic, funny, go get it attitude, as well as some intense irony in that she has this loyal and overwhelming need to do the right thing even with her career as a professional gambler. I also really like where the story started to head in the second half with Charley learning about magic and magical beings as well as learning to set her own limits and not to always depend on learning others limits. I felt like this was an incredibly insightful little ditty:
“the person with knowledge–has already decided what the limitations of their abilities are.
They don’t seek to test them or go beyond them.”


In this book our FMC Charley, gambler and cleaner extraordinaire, gets an all out smack in the face introduction to the supernatural world along with all the citizens of Manchester, during some magic based apocalyptic events. As these events unfold, Charley realizes that both she and her house mate have some inner supernatural. As the government closes down and quarantines Manchester, Charley and her crew fight to survive and help all the supes and humans that stay behind.

All in all I really think this has some promise, but in all honesty I know, that in order to continue I’d have to start at the beginning. I also recommend that if you have OCD issues like me, and if your interested in pursuing this story you should also start there.






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The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children

Published:
May 3rd 2011

Series: The Kane Chronicles #2

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reread Review
I feel like this deserves 5 Goodreads stars but I’d like to bump it down to 4 Rick Riordan stars… If that even makes sense. I just feel like once you read enough of an authors work they should develop their own Star Chart so that you can then place a work on a spectrum of their other work. So 4 Riordan stars for me as I’m still more of a Jackson fan lol, but still an amazing continuation of the series.

I really like how Carter and Sadie’s story has a whole different feel from his other work. It really sets it apart. In book 2, brother and sister Carter and Sadie start off jumping right back into a mess after spending the last little bit recruiting and starting to train young magicians in the way of the gods. Of course, they start by breaking and entering and setting things on fire..well at least its only “ghostly” fire lol. Either way we start with an epic 5 day countdown till the solstice, when, according to Carter and his ba dreams, Apophis is going to make his comeback. To prevent this Carter and Sadie go on yet another epic journey to wake up Ra…who isn’t quite all there yet, and apparently likes Zebras and Weasels… While they are trying to save the world of course the House of Life is still sticking their noses all up in their business, and even go so far as to declare war!

I really feel that this installment in the series was not only more action packed, had more magic, more humor, and even had the debut of Bes and the “Speedo Patrol.” It has been years since I read through these and was super excited to realize I remembered almost nothing lol well except a certain prospective budding romance… lol. I also like the camaraderie between Carter and Sadie, though they definitely have that bro/sis argumentative flair they are slowly growing closer and you can tell more in this book for sure.

I can’t wait to continue on my reread journey to the next in the series! Maybe by the time I get to the next book Ra will have his crap together lol.



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The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Published:
October 7th 2014 by

Series:
The Heroes of Olympus #5Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #10

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reread Review
I don’t know how I managed to never have rated this during my previous read…but apparently I did. 5 Riordan stars, since I started this author his own star chart on my last read of his work. I cannot lie..as I was going through all my highlights I found that 80% of them were “Leoisms,” yep I made that word up, but for real though Leo is probably one of my all time favorite characters. The man is the all time class clown, underdog, and 5th wheel….I mean whats not to love.

Such a splendid wrap up to this series! I felt like the author really took alot of effort to make this series less of a one man show than the Percy series. The amount of work it must have taken to develop these characters so well is awe inspiring. I did finally notice a theme in this last book… basically their plan facing every enemy is to annoy them, cause mass chaos and destruction, and then run lol. I love it! I also “think” I saw the introduction to The Apollo Trials there toward the end… I haven’t read them yet but their on my list. Mwahahahah.

The thing I love most about these books is the humor as you can probably tell by my favorite character lol. Intense scenes with lots of action and anxiety often times cause me to have extreme anxiety in real life… which can be painful at times, but when its broken up with humor it allows me to enjoy these scenes which just happen to be my favorite and not need intermittent breaks to calm my over anxious spaz nature lol. Love, love, love these books!



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The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Publisher:
HarperTeen
Published: February 6th 2018

Review:

3.5 Stars. What a great debut novel from Rebecca Ross! Despite not being full of my usual action I really enjoyed this book. It was super easy to sink into the world building. The story itself had a great ebb and flow and I felt that the characters themselves had great depth of emotion and were for the most part really well rounded. The only downside for me was that the plot itself had a pretty obvious line and it really didn’t defer from that line too often. For example, in the story when a character makes a plan of action… despite multiple holes in said plan, everything seems to go “according to plan” for the most part. I think that if it had more twists, turns, and deviations from the plan this book could have been epic. 

Brienna, our FMC, born on the wrong side of the blanket to a noble family in Valenia, is taken at the age of 10 to Magnolia House, a renown school for girls where they learn and master a specific subject called a “passion” and become “impassioned” at the age of 17 years, where then you take a final “test” to prove you are a master and are picked up and sponsored by a patron. As far as I can tell it ends up being like an apprenticeship. Very interesting concept here that I think the author really could have gone into much more with backstory and purpose of these passions. I was really confused at first thinking they were being trained as mistresses or concubines but that turned out not to be the case. Brienna’s grandfather gets her accepted into Magnolia House despite their rigid entrance criteria for talent in a passion by explaining her parentage, and the uniqueness of her dual citizenship with the neighboring queendom with Maevana. Brienna herself is completely in the dark about her paternal side other than the queendom itself and everyone refuses to tell her about. She knows however she has “no” talent and she spends the next 7 years hopping from one passion to the next until all that is left is the passion of knowledge and only 3 years left to master it. On her Brienna’s impassion day things don’t go as planned for her, not to mention she all of a sudden keeps having “visions” about a time, place and people she shouldn’t even know about. These “memories” and her longing to know her parental history puts her on a dangerous path of lies and intrigue and a coop for the Maevana crown.

I really loved Brienna she was just the type of noble, honorable, and loyal heroine that I love to read about. You can see her strength of character from very early on in the book. I also found it really interesting that though she has some strong insecurities about her “worth” and her strength with her passion of knowledge since she thinks it was a last resort, she really took to the passion and embodied what I felt a student of knowledge would. She was intensely curious and pondered and thought out one problem after the next until she reached a solution.

I am a tad confused as to how this book is part of a series and how that is going to play out since we seem to have come to a great end point for a stand alone itself…Maybe more stories from the world itself? I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from this author!

The Amulet Thief by Luanne Bennett

Rating: 2.5-3 Stars/5

Publisher: Independent

Published: November 2016 

Review:

* I received a copy of this via NetGalley and the author Luanne Bennett in exchange for an honest review.* 

Triggers: Rape, Attempted Assault

I rounded up to 3 stars here, though I feel like really 2.5 may be where I’m at on this. The first..well maybe 70ish % of the book was very confusing. I see that the author was going for slow reveals on the backstory, and explanations but I feel like upon the introduction to the supernatural world we should have been thrown multiple bones, explanation wise, that would have made the ride a whole lot smoother. After about 70%, I was finally starting to get the hang of the world… maybe?, I don’t honestly know if I was getting the hang of it or deluding myself since the world was never really explained in detail but it did seem like it was a little smother around then. In all honesty I feel like the author was attempting to cleverly conceal the answers to most of the questions, either that or I am way off base and all my assumptions were figments of my imagination. We never got the answers so…. I’ll just pretend I figured it all out lol.

My Journey of Discoveries in this book:
Alex Kelly, our FMC, arrives in New York… We don’t know why she is here at this point or what made her come here. As a character right off the bat she seems super paranoid noticing every single person looking her way, also she is really kind of dry, personality wise. She seems to have no problem compartmentalizing weird things, which start to happen to her almost immediately after arriving. Basically she just ignores it, and doesn’t dwell on it at all which just seems a little unrealistic honestly. We slowly realize that Alex is on the hunt for details about her past, and her mothers death… I am not sure 100% that it comes out and says this point blank..If it did I can’t remember but I basically just went with it till I figured it out. I learned eventually that Alex has been raised in foster homes since she was about 8 yo, but the author never really goes into a lot of details about that. We really don’t get hardly any backstories..about anything. After visiting an antique shop where her mother’s best friend worked she is thrust into an incredibly dangerous world where she is constantly assaulted and almost or maybe even raped? I will say that it cuts out as she faints or blacks out every time something bad is going to happen and your left not knowing if it did or not… Upon awakening from her first encounter she meets Greer and is finally introduced to supernatural stuff, and at the same time goes through some weird personality things where she all of a sudden become this intensely hostile and mouthy person. With that attitude, things just get weird as everyone refuses to really give her any information to help prepare her as she is obviously hunted… and at the same time they are constantly berating her and putting her in dangerous situations with no knowledge of this new world… It was extremely frustrating for both her and the reader let me tell you. We don’t know what Greer “is” but we know there are shifters… and she is constantly saying that he prowls like a tiger… so maybe? Who knows we never find out. 

Oddly enough the book became interesting to me only after she starts working at a nearby book store…owned by a dude name Apollo, and while taking a tour a book called “Prophecies” falls off a shelf and hits her on the head. Coincidence? Irony? Significant? We don’t really know as it never came back to it but at about that time was when I decided that the author must be doing all the vague stuff on purpose and hiding all the answers to the questions. This book is a scavenger hunt for clues as to what is going on… At least that is where I ended up.. lol.

I feel like, for me personally, knowing beforehand whether or not I should be looking for clues to answer the plot holes would have gone a long way to increase my enjoyment.. If maybe one of these days I know for sure, maybe then I can tackle the rest of this series.

Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Publisher:
Harlequin Teen

Published:
November 1st 2017

Review:

2.5 ish stars. In all honesty it was both the “feel” of this book, and the absolute lack of backstory and world building that really kept me from loving this book. I felt it was incredibly hard to stay focused on the story and that the plot progression was a little “all over” the place. Also, I was really confused by the age of the main character Tenn, who is described to be YA/College age but has the personality, emotional, and mental characteristics of someone who is around 12 or 13. If it did say his age somewhere I must have missed it, but throughout the entire story it kept throwing me.

The lack of backstory and details in the world building really hindered this story’s ability to progress smoothly. The “Resurrection” is mentioned time after time but you never really get any details on what happened to this world, why it has become this way, and what the freaking plan is other than survival. I am typically a huge fan of the dystopian or apocalyptic feel but this was just mad chaos with no real rhyme or reason. There was really no explanations on our antagonists or their end goal either.

Our MC Tenn is a severely depressed and highly irrationally emotional character. We start with Tenn on a hunting trip with “friends” already in the post apocalyptic earth. During this trip they run into some trouble as magical zombies get on their trail. They are not allowed to use magic because though it isn’t explained its apparent that using magic sends a beacon out to all magical creatures in the area. Caught between life or death Tenn looses control of his magic and saves him and another of his friends. Now their entire base is in danger because Tenn has summoned the enemy to their door. It turns out the enemy isn’t just after kill, steal and destroy…they are after Tenn for unknown and never revealed reasons… Just as the enemy shows up some reluctant allies show up as well saying the “prophets” (never explained) were also on the lookout for Tenn (reasons never revealed). Amidst the destruction of his temporary home and the loss of all his people to the enemy Tenn journeys with these 3 allies to a new base where they are put on yet another journey with nothing explained. The entire time Tenn becomes more and more depressed and still can’t seem to control his magic and reluctant bloodlust.

I’ll just be honest the whole thing was kind of a hot mess. By the end I was just irritated that nothing was really ever explained. I feel like the book is just missing some intrinsic stuff that would actually make it a complete story…Maybe they will explain some things in the next book in the series?

Runebreaker by Alex R. Kahler

Rating: 1.5-2/5 Stars

Publisher:
Harlequin Teen

Published:
November 27th 2018

Review:


*I received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publisher Harlequin TEEN in exchange for an honest review.*  1.5 stars..maybe..I am on the fence here between not liking it and it was ok. I originally wanted to read this book because I had read the first in the series and I was hoping and praying for maybe some explanations or some sense to be made in this book that the first one lacked. I will tell you right now you will get no answers from this book to questions from the first book. You will only end up with more questions and an intense dislike for the MC, Aidan who is probably the most selfish, self absorbed, and just mental MC I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading about. Being in his head was disturbing. Despite my dislike for him.. his sidekick Kianna was the bomb. She was ruthless as well, super strong character. I found myself fantasizing what her story would be. 

I had the same problems with the missing world building and absolute lack of backstory that I had in the first book. I just feel like someone should have told the author upfront that without these details your story doesn’t make the sense that it could. I feel like this story was supposed to be “the making of the antagonist” so to speak even if the actual antagonist is some barely known entity “The Dark Lady.” I sincerely wish there was some myth or lore or explanations explaining this entity and her goals because her actions do not meet up with what she says she desires to this MC.

This book does not pick up where book one left off really.. we start a whole new adventure with a new MC, Aidan. Aidan starts his story by murdering one of his fellow hunters and having the intense desire to take over and rule the world…. yea nice to meet you Aidan. From there, Aidan gets into one awful mess after another driven by his greed and selfishness getting everyone around him killed or killing them himself. Pushed along by his desire for the incubus demon and whispers and vision of The Dark Lady to do their bidding while promising him all that he wants, he continues into a trap of brutal torture both mental and physical. It really seems as though he is being groomed to be the bad guy… of course I have no freaking idea where this is headed or even why…

I am still super confused on what is going on, and I’m now at the conclusion that it is not going to get better. It is really unfortunate, but I won’t be trying to complete this series. The anxiety and confusion just isn’t worth it to me to cater to my “must finish” OCD on this one lol.

Book Stop

Finished and posted a couple reviews today thought I would share!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

So I picked this up from the library in anticipation of buddy reading it with some Goodreads friends. I really was not a fan of this. As a group it was hit and miss for different people. 2 because I made it to the finish stars. The first chapter was really compelling and I was super excited to be off on the adventure but it very quickly fell down hill for me. There was no world building, explanations, backstory, or sense really. The story itself was heavily dialogue focused and switched POV’s really frequently, while at the same time remaining monotone with hardly any emotion. The plot was jumpy and stilted and did not make much sense. There was no flow. Lastly, I couldn’t get involved enough to actually get to know the characters but they seemed to have no chemistry really…that may have to do with the weird POV switching.

Ok so we start off with Blue,our FMC, who comes from a family of psychics being told one day she would kiss a boy and it would kill him… no details on that. She avoids males at all costs due to this. On St Marks Day her mother and her visit a church where her mother can see all the souls of the people who haven’t yet died but are going to soon. The psychic “seeing” seems to have skipped Blue in the family tree but she seems to be able to influence and increase the abilities of others, however, on this night Blue sees a soul..It just happens to be a rich boy from an uppity school in town.. Gansey one of our male main characters..all of which are very odd, is obsessed with finding Ley lines, finding a hero of old who for some reason, Gansey believes is still alive only asleep, and waking them up? I guess? His reasons are unknown really. Blue thinks Gansey may be her true love either that or she is destined to kill him…but she helps Gansey find this Ley line..for…reasons I guess. From there, the very thin plot line with no real reasoning behind the goal progresses very, very slowly…

I don’t think any of my questions were answered throughout the story. The writing had this Sixth Sense type appeal without the delivery really. It was thoroughly confusing and didn’t make any sense to me. I made it through the book but I won’t be moving further anytime…

Insidious (The Marked Mage Chronicles, #1)

Grabbed this off KU. 3ish stars as it was pretty entertaining and I wasn’t daydreaming of finishing laundry during most of it. *wink* Promising start to the series, plenty of intrigue and action that kept me involved. I will say that it did seem like a fact dump when it came time for some splainin’, and it also seemed like not only did they hit her with every supernatural in the book, but they threw in the book as well. It did seem a little overwhelming for a few, but I pulled myself together. Character wise I’m not a super Kat, our FMC, fan but there is definitely some potential. She has come across as juvenile and a tad immature to me so far. Shes not quite whiny… but its kind of close. Personality wise she was kind of all over the place so I couldn’t really get on her wavelength…I feel like that was part of the plot though so I’m still on the fence. Reese our MMC I’m a huge fan of already, give me a Nerdy underdog and hes got me at hello lol!

Kat on a night out with her friends gets thrust into a whole new world of supernatural chaos when after a tragic car accident she miraculously makes it. Haunted by that night, not really remembering how she made it with not a scratch when she does remember the pain..she begins going through some physical, mental, and…magical changes. These send her into a tailspin of the “Am I crazies” and right into the arms of the school “weirdo” Reese. Reese is also not what he seems. As they try to find out what happened that awful night they discover and increase in demonic activity, murders, and someone is after Kat. Friends become enemies… and then maybe friends again as Kat tries to hold onto her humanity and also save the town.

I feel like the story line is interesting enough to maybe get me back for #2… especially with the happenings there at the end. We will just have to see.