Book Stop: ARC Review: A Wicked Reputation by Liana Lefey

A Wicked Reputation by Liana LeFey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

Publish Date: February 25, 2019

Series: Once Wicked #3

Genre: Historical Romance


3.5 stars rounded up because even though the plot was pretty straight forward and simple it was a really fast enjoyable read! Sometimes I just need a reminder of why I fell in love with historical romances in the first place and this book sent me straight there. The balls, the gowns, the gossip, the attitudes, the drama, and…. the passion!

This is book 3 in the Once Wicked series and can without a doubt stand alone. I have not read books one and two but after reading this book I would not be opposed to going back and seeing who books one and two are about! This book was almost a play on being the opposite of what historical romances normally entail. In this book is the illusion that the daring scandalous courtesan is after some unsuspecting benefactor rather than a rake after some sweet innocent. I liked the difference though I’m not sure that, realistically men dragged their known mistresses off to ton balls.. that seems a little too scandalous to be accurate historically, but it made for a great read! I had no problem falling right into the story, and even though the secrets were slow reveals I was caught up pretty quickly in the intrigue of it all. I am all for a rule breaker, and any woman that can bring a rake to heel, so this book was a win for me!

Diana, ruined by a petty rumor from her betrothed is cast out by her uncle and left to fend for herself, rather than deal with any dishonor fighting said rumor could bring. Innocent but unable to prove herself Diana must figure out a way to make ends meet. Entering into a mutually beneficial relationship in which Diana gains financial freedom in an intricate plot to protect her benefactor’s secrets, she posses as his mistress and learns the ways of a courtesan. Traipsing about court flaunting her status in her uncles face bringing herself some semblance of revenge she is well versed in the arts of coquettishly maneuvering herself out of others clutches and for those she can’t out maneuver her charming benefactor takes care of on the dueling field. That is until everything she has been building threatens to collapse when, overly curious, Lord Lucas Blackthorn becomes enthralled with her, and is not as easily convinced of her act. Not only that, but the feelings he awakens in her threatens to destroy her newfound family, and makes her remember all the things she once wanted so long ago.

Great, fast, simple read. Very easy to sink into and become involved. The characters were pretty rounded and the feelings seemed intense. I am excited for this series, and I hope to run across more by this author!

I requested and received a copy of this for honest review purposes via NetGalley and the publisher Entangled Publishing, LLC. Many thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this work.
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Book Stop: ARC Review: Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas

Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Shadesilk Press

Published: August 8, 2010

Series: Vivatera #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy


2.5 stars rounded up here. Whew, this book is sitting on what I feel is a mountain of potential with the plot concept/premise. Unfortunately for me the way it was executed really put a damper on all that potential. The main problem, for me, is that all the backstory and world building actually occur at the end of the book, almost like an afterthought. Throughout most of the book I was agonizing over the lack of backstory and world building, thinking this must be a spin off of sorts.. I checked twice to make sure it was actually the first in the series. Even if an author wants to do a slow reveal on word building and backstory and maybe keep certain things to the end as a mystery there has to be something in the beginning alluding to the fact that eventually we might get some answers. There were also several instances where climactic parts of the story would vaguely end without much detail and cut to another chapter. I personally obviously like details and explanations of how things have occurred.

These things in particular needed to be at the beginning.. or at least hinted about, and revealed throughout the plot: A hint of or the actual prophecy at the beginning of the book, or at least a description of the different races so we know what they are throughout the book, that way when they do something “different” it makes some sense, or explaining vaguely towards the beginning.. maybe in a prologue or something the events that have lead us to now, like the old kings history, or the history of how the magic came to be in this world, or the history of the stones themselves…. Not having this information really hurt the plot in my opinion because it took away from the actual story which was really interesting and could have been riveting.

We have some really abrupt insta love in this story. That isn’t really my thing but I can get on board if it seems to have some sort of foundation but here it really didn’t have enough of anything. It was a tad jarring even where it popped up in the story, it seemed to be necessary for Naomi to exit camp but not for Reynolds? Either way, I feel like there should have been more prior to the proclamation.. like maybe a recognition, or maybe even dreaming about a boy hero.. or something.

That all being said.. There was enough explanations at the very end of the book to answer most of the questions I had and to ease some of my anxiety and frustration. I am sad at where the book ended, things were just starting to make sense and we come to an abrupt end just as I started to feel we were actually getting somewhere. I am torn between wanting to see what will happen next for these characters and not wanting to put myself through it..

Received a copy via NetGalley and the Publisher Shadesilk Press in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Stop: ARC Review: The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne

The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Bookouture

Published: January 19, 2019

Series: The Queen’s Wing #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Scifi, Romance


I requested and received an AR copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher Bookouture for reviewing purposes. Many thanks for allowing me to read and review this work!

I must be honest. I did not read the blurb for this book before requesting it. Having read the first in the series I jumped at the chance to further explore the world. That being said it kind of threw me when I realized that though Bel and Con are present in this new adventure the book was more a continuation of the world with new character’s story brought to the forefront. In my opinion this book could probably stand alone, but having read the first one did add some enrichment, and backstory in. I love that we got some minor continuation of Bel and Con’s story but at the same time a whole new set of circumstances for our characters here.

Our FMC in this story is Petra, who after the last book and her efforts has been promoted to general for Bel and Con’s military. Bel and Con still preparing for wedding attempt #2. Petra is tasked with guarding Zander, Bel’s brother, while visiting for their wedding. Petra and Zander have some history which is brought to light. Zander arrives from the Empire, followed closely by Lord Teel, one of the Empress’s most favorite courtiers, and company. Turns out Zander may be on the run from the Empress’s plots and schemes and interestingly enough to Con, ever the nerd <3, the Empress has some technology and mecha they are somewhat familiar with. As Petra becomes more involved trying to protect Zander not only from the Empress’s schemes but also from her own past, Lord Teel manages to wheedle his way in. As if all this isn’t enough an old foe of Anthaese long since buried, has reawakened and is now claiming vengeance in the form of a religious uprising. We really got to learn even more about Anthaese’s history in this story and we get to see more of our “dragons” as well as some set up for further dragons.

I felt that the story itself was good and very enjoyable combining the magic of the world with the scifi tech. What kept me from loving it, I think, was the new characters I think. I think it was the lack of diversity of personalities and a lack of depth, neither Petra nor Zander are incredible or stand out really. There was just a lack of passion and intensity throughout the whole story that I think would have been very emotion provoking had it been present. The action and adventure were there, but it was just a little superficial failing to really grasp me and keep me invested even during the most climactic parts. I think that if the author had played up Petra, Zander and even Teel’s characters more and made them deeper it would have had a stunning effect. Even Bel and Con didn’t suck me in quite like in the first story. Where I would have experienced such profound heartbreak and even horror during certain parts of this story, it just didn’t really hit me emotionally like the scenes should have.

I really like this world and look forward to seeing what the story has for us next, however I would really like to see some passion, and intensity in the characters in the next story. Make me really feel it.
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Book Stop: Freebie Friday: Library Hookup Reviews!


Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: January 17th 2017

Series: Carve the Mark #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy, SciFi

I need to start off by saying that Veronica Roth broke my heart once before so I’ve been avoiding her work whilst taking time to stitch myself back together. I rarely if ever read reviews before I try a book… sometimes I may have to pause the book to go read some reviews especially if I feel like I have a really harsh criticism just to see if it is just me.. In this books case, however, I read the reviews before hand and was set up to force myself to finish it.. but I was so surprised. I had no problem staying super engrossed in the story which moved at a pretty decent pace in comparison to other things I have read. In fact I really liked it. There are parts of the book that seem pretty hopeless and in a lot of books that will bring me down to the point where I start to dislike them but the characters resilience, and determination really made up for those times I thought. The only problems I really had was the lack of backstory really about the worlds and this war that seems to be playing out.. this universe? controlled by this “current,” is pretty complex and it would seem like it has a really rich backstory especially between the people I would have liked a little more of that. I also saw a lot of reviews about the racial connotations and I am embarrassed to say that I read those reviews before hand and completely forgot all about it during the story and it never occurred to me that was going on so I don’t really feel its as “obvious” as they made it seem… either that or I’m just oblivious lol.

The concept we start out with in this story is that every person has a future, but only some have fates. Fates basically being a prophesied future that cannot be changed. What they never stress or tell you is that they can be interpreted a million ways of course…. like all prophecies but no one is supposed to know their “fate” until after death. People, also still have some sort of choices almost like their personality or decisions would effect out the wording on the “fate” is interpreted by life itself. Our MMC Akos and our FMC Cyra come from opposite sides of “the divide.” Akos from a Thuvhe family, 3rd son of the Oracle. Going about his happy life but his mother always hinting at some greater purpose, with a sad demeanor. Up until the day comes where fates were read aloud and his world was turned upside down by the Shotet people, his father murdered and him and his brother kidnapped. Cyra, the daughter of the Shotet King, is cursed by her “currentgift” to always feel and cause pain becomes a tool for her evil elder brother who is determined to conquer his fate and not fall to the Thuvhe ruling family. Ryz her brother has lost his humanity it seems in his desperate attempts to control his people and thwart fate itself. Cyra and Akos are thrown together him being the respite to her curse, but things aren’t exactly what they seem in this world, nor do we honestly know who the real enemy is….

We still have alot of questions plot wise, and some serious intrigue going on here… I have my theories but I don’t want to give any spoilers. One thing is for sure Veronica Roth has no problem killing off some characters… This book was completely engaging for me, nerve racking as well. We are left with a big reveal cliffhanger.. love those (insert sarcasm) lol. Can’t wait to see where this is headed.

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Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: Delacorte Press

Publisher: February 5th 2019

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy


Such a great continuation of the series. This book picks up right where we left off in book 1. I feel like we are starting to get more and more information about the magic in this world but I think we have only touched the surface. For the most part, I feel like Theo is finally growing up, she is still impulsive and arrogant but she has tempered it with people to care for. What kept me from giving this book 5 stars was that the plot line seemed to drag on at certain parts and during that time there didn’t seem to be anything plot related going on.. almost like we are plotting along and ….squirrel. I get the reasons behind why they start their journey by visiting another land to collect allies but the time spent there almost seemed wasted. We did finally get to point B from point A and I say almost wasted because we did learn some things but it was a long drive.

Theo and her entourage journey to Sta’Crivero, where the King has collected suitors from all the lands to meet with Theo so she can choose a husband best suited to her needs. Since her desire is an army to boot the Kaiser out of Astrea this is her main concern. Little does she know, the scheezy king is basically auctioning her off to the highest bidder and not all the bidders are there to play fair. During their stay they visit the refugee camp and come to the realization that just because they aren’t slaves like in Astrea their quality of life is almost as bad. I love loved Theo and Soren’s relationship in this book.. Its like they cleared the air and from that point on they were completely honest with each other.. no games. It was refreshing. When suitor’s Theo shows interest in start dying, and Soren is implicated, Theo becomes desperate to both save her people and finally escape the Kaiser’s clutches all the while trying to avoid the clutches of someone just as bad. With a not so great plan, and her desperate people at her back Theo finally gets to make a choice of a queen.. her or her kingdom. The surprising part is the person giving her the choice…..and how it turns out.

I can’t believe that we are left with that ending and now have to wait till 2020 for some closure!! Here is to hoping Theo really brings it in the next book! Im also wondering if the next book will pickup right where we left off here… or if some time will have passed due to some circumstances… Uggghhh so far away!!!

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Published: Henry Holt and Company

Publisher:  June 17th 2014

Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3Grishaverse #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

My excitement for this series has been slowly tapering off as things drag on… I’m not sure what is throwing me off. Maybe its the role confusion here? The bad guys just aren’t bad enough and the good guys just aren’t that good maybe? Or maybe its just Alina.. I had been hoping across the series to finally click with her but she is just so hard to lock down. One minute she is funny and sassy, the next minute she is morose and selfish, and every now and then a burst of self confidence comes out of no where. Its like no matter how much training she has, or how many times a chapter ends with her gaining some conviction from somewhere she is always just freaking wingin’ it. If I had to say anything she just isn’t heroine material… I feel like the story was being led by a side character and I kept waiting on her to truly step up into her destiny or this “Aha” moment but really even with all the events that happened when the story ended… There she was just ordinary… Its like the Shakespeare saying:

” Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” but in this case the character was like “oh Heck no”… lol.

We start right where book 2 left off. Alina and her “sun” followers along with her loyal Grisha gang are trapped underground, while the Apparat tries to play his leadership games. Alina is left without all her powers after her last run in with the Darkling, and she is desperate for some sort of hope of beating him so they set off to find the last amplifier. The “real” light of this book and the book before it, Nikolai, catches up with them and they head off to rally their allies. Betrayal from in their midst, leads them straight to the Darkling and yet another battle ensues in which mother and son must face off while Alina goes in search of the 3rd amplifier. We got more and more backstory on the amplifiers themselves and the man who first had the idea for them. As Alina continue’s her journey it becomes increasingly obvious that not only does she not want what seems to be her destiny but she is almost desperately trying to put off making any decisions or committing herself while she grasps for what she truly wants. As warnings catch up to her Alina realizes that the she will need the 3rd amplifier to defeat the darkness and the fold but the cost is just too much….

I really liked the plot twist at the end, but where, in the 2nd book, it seems like Alina is embracing her awesomeness and her destiny, it just isn’t happening she is back and forth giving me the whiplash. Also, I do feel like the ending was a little abrupt, like we really didn’t get to see the effects of their journey really. I think all in all it was a good series but it was not what I would call epic. I am super excited though, to read Nikolai’s story because he has been my favorite from his first scene!

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Book Stop – Why Choose Valentine, rating: R of course!

Next year during February I will definitely put on my calendar to devote the month to the reverse harem revolution lol. I wish I had thought of it sooner. As we close in towards Valentine’s day I see myself leaning way more towards the romance section of my TBR and find myself rereading past loves.

Crimes of Cupidity by Raven Kennedy

Crimes of Cupidity: A Fantasy Reverse Harem Story by Raven Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: January 31, 2019

Series: Heart Hassle #3

Genre: RH, Romance, Fantasy



“Now, pull on your big girl panties and ovary-it up. We’re mates, and we have a war to win.” 

Coffee Mug Material!

Ridiculousness to the max! Our favorite cupid Emelle’s mess continues as she desperately tries to grab herself a tiny piece..ahem of happily ever after of course, and the cure for all that ails her is a little vitamin “D”! It is amazing to me how Raven Kennedy keeps the raunchy humor going full force and still keeps a captivating story moving along in its madness! I’m pretty sure she is my idle! I am also pretty sure that I have highlighted a million one liners from this book to put on coffee mugs to brighten my day! I want to say I’m too mature to laugh at the ridiculousness but I’d be lying.. I’m pretty sure at one point I had coffee spew from my nose.. I may now have a sinus infection…


“Emelle’d,” Evert explains. “It’s when someone gets struck silent from the crazy ass words that come out of your mouth.”

Emelle finds herself sucked back to cupidville to face the consequences of her lack of cupid skills but in a twist she winds up being “boss bitch.” “Whoops.” Even still, the cooperate life isn’t for her so back to the fae world to find her yummy mates, but something is wrong. She has been gone longer than expected and their whole plan has been ruined. The princess is captured, the evil Prince is gaining ground, and Okot… our precious “beloved” doesn’t even recognize us other than as the enemy… Not to mention Ronark has gone feral and seems to need to be house broken. I just couldn’t even with this! I was dying…. Even the “Horney Hooker” isn’t safe from the love arrows in this book. Luckily he just might get his “shot” in the next series..


I watch as Ronak gyrates his hips a bit, and I narrow my eyes. Is he…? Yep. He’s drawing a dick on the carpet with his urine. A piss dick pic. It’s actually kind of impressive.

Once again a thoroughly entertaining read with the randomness continuing and the quest for love never ending!
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Dirty Alphas by Alexa B. James and Angelina Avery

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance by Alexa B. James and Angelina Avery

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep Published

Published: December 14, 2018

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal


Whaaaaattttt! 3.5ish almost just rounded it up… l have to be legit honest, I accidentally downloaded this of KU.. like it was for real an accident and I went immediately to correct my mistake and find something to download in its place when I started to feel guilty for not giving it a chance. Let me first say, I’m not a fan of the cover, to me, it looks a tad on the cheesy side. Reverse harems are hit or miss with me. I find it amazing that author’s even attempt them, I mean it must be difficult to create chemistry between 2 characters let alone between 2+ characters and give them all some sort of dynamic all the while trying to make a story take place. There in lies the problem for most RHN I give a try.. the story gets lost in a bunch of eye rolling smut.. most of the time. Also, I find it hard to believe that a woman would want to take on more than one dude.. permanently lol. I mean realistically…that’s all the more dishes, laundry everywhere, shavings in the sink…. but its fantasy.. so I roll with it lol.

This book was surprisingly good, I did feel like there was quite a few plot holes, and some confusion on the world building that kept me from absolutely loving it but the story was prominent not the smut which is hands down a winner for me in the RH genre. So the blurb itself gave us more backstory and world building than the actual story did.. I almost felt like this was a sequel or a spin off or something, and it also didn’t feel like the story was over though this episode concluded pretty nicely. The book also started us off in a really confusing situation with no preparation and it didn’t go on to explain said situation till much later in the book.

Scarlet our FMC, starts of seemingly kidnapped by a madman, Jacob Knight, not only is he a madman but he is the alpha of her wolf shifter pack. He wants to force her and her wolf to submit to him after forcing her into marriage all the while holding her family hostage. During their tussle Scarlet is gravely injured and though as a human she works out a deal that in exchange for her family’s freedom, her wolf refuses to submit and rips out his throat. Her father runs in seeing what has happened and that pack alpha has transferred to Scarlet, but they know they are in trouble because it wasn’t won legally through challenge. There was no in depth preparation or backstory explaining the laws governing the shifters and magical creatures.. which was a little confusing. So Dad and Scarlet hide it and Dad poses as Alpha so Scarlet can have a normal life, all the while Scarlet must keep her wolf hidden so no one notices it is an alpha… Until a year later when Scarlet must return to the pack because Dad can no longer keep up the pretense with Scarlet so far away.. The governing “council” for the wolves have already sent 3 alphas of their own to take the pack away to keep it strongly out of Fae grasp, 3 other Knight brothers, who instantly have a connection with Scarlet despite her non dominant status in the pact.. of course Scarlet already is in deep with the Fae her best friend being a Fae prince.. The 3 Knight brothers aren’t the only ones skulking around however, someone else is out to get Scarlet, someone very dangerous…

It was a pretty enjoyable read for me and I flew through the book really despite all the holes. I dodged them pretty well and just kept on going. I am left wondering about all the possibilities… kind of wish there was more to answer all my questions.
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Gypsy Freak by Kristy Cunning

Gypsy Freak by Kristy Cunning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep.

Published: January 4, 2019

Series: All The Pretty Monsters #2

Genre: RH, Paranormal, Fantasy


2.5 stars.. rounded up… grudgingly. I was super excited to get in to this book after enjoying the first one so much.. Unfortunately if it wasn’t for the last 25% of this book I would have given up on this series completely! For at least the first 35% it was written so random, and with absolutely no cohesion what so ever that I was constantly going back to reread things just because I couldn’t even figure out whose viewpoint I was in.. I was so lost. Not only all that, but Anna… wtf. Your going to go and take my most favorite sister from another mister out of this story… I don’t even know… Finally after 75% of the book the author finally starts making sense.. and it wasn’t like things just came to light that made the whole book make sense, it was like the writing started actually making a cohesive picture and I was finally able to get into the story. Book 2 was just a train wreck until 75%.. in fact if I were to do it over again, I might just read book 1, the last 25% of book 2 and then jump right into book 3 because I don’t even think the reader would actually miss anything doing it this way..

So at 75% all the bickering, and long winded explanations that don’t actually explain anything, as well as all the vague posturing, and petty disputes over Violet, and mind games that play at being clever but are actually just quite annoying stop.. for the most part, and we really start getting some answers. After fighting between the wolves and vampires because of Arion coming out early escalate, and groups of wolves are found dead, Violet finds herself caught in the middle. Emit is then captured and as the perpetrators come forward and reveal their plans.. Violet demonstrates her ..”resilience” as well as why she should never, ever, panic.

I’m really hoping book 3 starts out where book 2 leaves off and we don’t have to go through this mess again and we can really get some answers. Crossing my fingers..

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Gypsy Origins by Kristy Cunning

Gypsy Origins by Kristy Cunning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep

Published: January 25, 2019

Series: All The Pretty Monsters #3

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal


Ok, so this book was in fact much, much better than book 2, however, I feel like now we have entered into one of those stories where random things are thrown in to cover up the plot holes, and now the story is just kind of way out there and seems like it is going to go on for freaking ever…. Yea its a travesty because I really felt like we were working with something great but it is now kind of all over the place for me, and Anna is still gone…. In all actuality, even though now we know a lot more about the situation, it took basically the whole book while we watched each characters individual reactions to the information.. and of course the bickering continues. *eye roll. I can’t help but feel like we are getting tiny snippets of story and a whole lot of useless filler… Progressing at a slow roll most of the time.

The other problem for me, is unfortunately Violet just really isn’t the most like able character. She is just meh for me, so the dragging it out is not helping, and its like the author is trying to force some humor or something on her and it is just awkward. I don’t know the pieces just aren’t fitting together very well and its like they just decided to hammer them in and roll with it.

So…. in short.. there were a couple of reveals.. that took the entire book to finally make it around to everyone… Violet has decided the to bring back the witch.. and then bam cliffhanger and a supposed threat from someone who is supposed to be dead? At least that is where I’m at.

In truth it was better than book 2, in that it at least made some kind of sense, but I’m not about this dragging stuff out forever. I like to feel like we got somewhere after reading like 400 pages.. just saying. I don’t know whether to be on the lookout for book 4 or not.. might wait till books 5-10 come out just in case I need to skip a few to get to the end *wink.
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Book Stop – Rainy Day Binge

I’m not sure if everyone has this problem but I seem to be able to read way faster than I can review. Truthfully, I try to write detailed reviews and sometimes by the end of a reading binge the reviews start either looking the same or go off on a tired giggle rant… What are some secrets that you more experienced bloggers use to keep yourself focused and keep up with the ever growing pile of read books that still need stars beside them?

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Tor Books

Published: September 24, 2013

Series: Villains #1


I’m not sure I have ever read anything like this. This book was both creepy with a sociopathic/psycho vibe.. and at the same time super engaging and all consuming. I feel like the Impassive voice of the writer made it all the more compelling. There were no good guys…. just a groups of antagonists in an all out brawl being pushed by some fanatic type notions driving them onward.. I found myself spending the entire book trying to justify and make excuses for one character or another in a desperate attempt to make a “good guy” out of at least one of them. The back and forth jumping through time answering questions almost as soon as I thought to ask them and revealing the plot in an almost genius way. I felt like for most of the story like I was running through a never ending hallway each door on the side revealing new things, new characters, new powers and at the same time I was striving to get to the present to find out the ending. An odd concept in itself striving to get to the now to find out the end…

Victor and Eli, the ultimate frenemies, start their journey in college 10 years ago with 2 thesis ideas which correlate. Victor wanting to study the effects of adrenaline and fight/flight type mechanisms and Eli wanting to study EOs or “Extra Ordinarys”, people with unexplained abilities caused by certain experiences.. Teaming up they discover a tried and true formula after some trial and error.. costly error.. and at the same time lose something intrinsic to human nature. Years later, after some ultimate betrayals by both Victor and Eli their battle comes to a head in a game where there are no heroes.. only villains. In all realness this is one of the hardest plots to describe without giving some stuff away.

I am not sure that I ever really liked any of the characters, but I think that was one of the points lol.
I can’t wait to start the next book if only for the fact that I want to see what other EO “super powers” are out there. Great, entertaining and nerve shredding read!
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The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Published: September 19, 2013

Series: The Falconer #1

This was a decent start to the series.. I would say its probably more of a 3.5 star but not a 4 for me. There are multiple things this first book has going for it. The story is both original and captivating. It has a steampunk flare that really went well with the whole fantasy fae magic. The characters seemed well rounded and at the same time maintaining a huge air of mystery and the chemistry between our FMC, Aileana Kameron, aka Kam and her “trainer” Kieran was off the charts…. /face fanning. I will say that I did think our FMC a tad on the selfish/immature side, she was also very impulsive diving into situations without thinking, luckily she was bad A enough to dig her way out.

Aileana Kameron lives for vengeance. Since the moment she saw her mother brutally murdered by a fae she has wanted nothing but revenge. Found standing over her mothers dead body covered in blood by her father, her life hasn’t been the same. The whispers of murderer follow her everywhere and her father has almost written her off since. Now years later she has owned her title.. but not in the way the whisperers think. Kam with her ability to sense the fae, hunts them down all the while searching for her mothers murderer. Kieran her mysterious fae trainer has taught her how to survive.. but now she is venturing out on her own.. not knowing the danger she faces. Secrets come to light about Kam’s bloodline.. as the monsters turn the hunt on her. Now she is tasked with righting some wrongs and saving her city… but doing that may put her vengeance out of reach and loose her the friends she has made along the way.

I would say that what really kept me from loving this book was the infuriatingly vague plot reveals… clawing answers out a tiny bit at a time and right when I think I have a grasp of where we are headed.. the cliffhanger made me question everything I knew.. I about threw the book across the room.. ok so I didn’t really, but I imagined it for a minute. So, now not only do I have no idea where to stand.. I’m not even left standing I’m left hanging off said cliff not knowing whether to climb up and out or fall into the abyss…
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Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars, #1)

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray

Published: September 5th 2017

Series: Even the Darkest Stars #1

I have got to say I thought this was a really good start to the series. In fact I was hooked from the first sentence.. though in all honesty, the first sentence really had nothing to do with the rest of the book lol. Just mention some dragon eggs and apparently that’s all it takes for me. I really felt this book was super easy to sink into and I really felt the world building was pretty fantastic. I had no trouble picturing the scenes even having never read anything like this before. The characters for the most part were well rounded to me, seemed pretty relate able, and also seemed to compliment each other pretty well, balancing each other out. One thing I noticed, that threw me, was that events from the past, like centuries ago in the past, seemed sooo.. present? Events from centuries ago are kind of meshed in with events from a decade ago, and eventually it started to run together so much to where I couldn’t give you an honest straight timeline I don’t think. Either way everything seems to be remembered so vividly, like it just happened.. and yet there are legends of this sky city and a lost artifact that no one really knows about… Not sure if anyone else has felt this way but in reality it didn’t actually effect the events of the story, it just threw me here and there….

Kamzin, our FMC, has dreamed of following in her explorer mother’s footsteps since her sister and her followed her mother on her last adventure..across the deadly mountain Raksha. Now why a mother would take her 2 young children around/accross this mountain…. who knows, but after that failed attempt Kamzin and Lusha lost their mother and now they are the last 2 remaining people that know the way up to the mountain. Kamzin has always lived in her mother and brilliant sister Lusha’s shadow and longs for a time when she comes out the winner, the first picked, the most skilled. Famous Explorer River Shara shows up in Kamzin’s village to start of his next adventure and lo and behold he needs a guide for Raksha.. of course he would pick Lusha… Oddly enough Lusha studying the stars to become a seer has some stuff of her own she is trying to figure out and takes off before the journey leaving only Kamzin to lead River. Kamzin must her self esteem issues, her intense desire to prove herself, and her hero worship of River to lead them up the deadly Raksha, finding out some truths that can’t be forgotten and discovering the dangers lurking in her world are much closer than they seemed.

I will say that though the story was pretty captivating, there were lots of times where the plot did seem to move slowly though I really thought the last 15% or so of the book with all the plot twists, betrayals and discoveries made up for it. I’m super excited to continue the story because… I just have to know what is going to happen now… and I’m not at all sure I agree with decisions that have been made…
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Book Stop – ARC: Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

Publisher: Self: Isaiyan Morrison

Published: December 6, 2018

Series: ??

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a hard book to rate. I’m thinking 2.5 stars though I feel like there were certain aspects that I would have rated a 3 so I am going to round it up. There were multiple aspects about the story that I liked. I felt that the whole concept was fresh and had a pretty unique origination explanation but it really lacked some details to make it cohesive. This has the appearance of a standalone novel but this is far from over and must be a book in a series.. and if I’m honest this read like a continuation or spin off of a series. I could not seem to shake the feeling that I fell right off in the middle of some on going story where the details and the world building itself happened long ago. I will say that there was enough information for a reader to make some generalizations or guesses to fill in the blanks so to speak…well most of them I think. What world building and backstory we did get here seemed a little repetitive and the same information was thrown at us again and again but never expanded to answer my questions. The characters told the story of how Vain ended over, and over, and over but we never really found out the entire why? or what was trying to be accomplished, and honestly there was no definitive on the who was responsible, it never honestly came out. I also had issue with several of the concepts of the Behesians having the same problem.. though the book talks about Bridging repeatedly.. and I gathered from the reading its like “mating”.. maybe? The concept was never explained in detail, nor did it seem surprising that Cassidy was bridging with multiple people?

Character wise I felt a disconnect with every character because I didn’t feel like we ever got enough details about any of their stories, or at least enough details for me to really bond with them. This may have to do with the overwhelming amount of character viewpoints. For example the story never went into detail about Darrien, one of our Male MC’s what his and Milan’s, another Male MC story seemed to be because it seemed they were friends at one point, nor why Darrien thinks he can never bridge with someone. The truth is I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters looking back.. Ava especially.. Omg that girl went on and on and on with her anger and grudges, hate, and total selfishness. I couldn’t stand her at all. Cassidy, our FMC, was naive, whiny and kind of pathetic, and we honestly didn’t even stay in her viewpoint long enough for me to have any sort of grasp on her personality, her wants in life, her dreams.. did she even have friends? hobbies? What even is her last name? Same as her father’s maybe? who really knows. This was a little disheartening for me as the reader because in this world that I’m unfamiliar with I can’t even seem to put my faith in our supposed heroine to lead me through.

The book kicks off after the short prologue with Cassidy on her birthday, after about 5 mins in her head I was already not a fan. She seemed like the really moody, depressed, antisocial, unappreciative teenager. Not really someone I could even say I would want to be friends with irl. Cassidy hates her birthday and runs through the whole drama mama cycle as her “family” tries all day to seemingly make this a great day for her.. I don’t think the book ever says why she hates her birthday, but I assumed its because she believes her mother died while giving birth to her.. but that could be wrong. This is one of the examples of the little holes the reader must figure out or make assumptions for themselves about. Another thing that kind of threw me, is at one point at the very beginning of the story Sara is referred to as her “stepsister” and later is referred to as her “half sister” but neither is ever explained like where Sara’s mom is etc, no info is given. While out and about on her birthday Cassidy and her “sister” run into Elijah and Darrien who seem to have some beef with each other and noone really finds it weird that Elijah’s coffee cup catches on fire during the altercation. Later Elijah shows up at Cassidy’s house with a completely unbelievable story casting everything in Cassidy’s life under scrutiny and basically telling her she is living a lie. From this point starts our adventure which mostly consists of a bunch of bickering and fighting and very little actual explanations on what in the world is going on and what anyone’s end goal is. Eventually we are left on the run, with really no more explanation that we began and a bunch of characters who’s in all honesty decisions make little or no sense to me.

All in all I never got close to DNFing this book, it made enough sense to keep me going and the concept was interesting enough for me to really want answers but it just lacked cohesiveness, a backstory I could understand and get behind, as well as at least one character that I really could bond with and get to know. These all may come later.. who knows as I am not quite sure if this is supposed to be a series or not.

* I received an advance copy of this book through BookSirens via the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.*

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Book Stop: YA Review Rampage!

I can’t decide whether to post Reviews one at a time.. Which adds up to about 2 blog posts a day or to combine them into one post.. I figure if its an ARC, I should do the author and the publisher the favor of separating it into its own post but if its me reading because that’s what I do.. then it shouldn’t hurt to combine them from time to time. With that being said here are some new reviews lol.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Published: February 24th 2015

Series:
Shades of Magic #1
The Shades of Magic Universe

Genre: YA, Fantasy

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I think this is a potential 5 star but…. Deep Breath I borrowed this audio book from Libby, which for those that aren’t aware is a companion to Overdrive, an app allowing you to check out ebooks using your library card. I am not in the habit of grabbing the “just” audio versions of books because I have problems focusing sometimes, and in those instances I usually just switch over to reading myself. This audio book was one of the hardest audio’s that I have ever tried to listen to, and with no “read myself” option, I found myself constantly going back to re listen to a certain chapter or area because I had no clue where I was or what was happening. Honestly, the narrator seemed pretty talented with the different characters etc, but the narrator combined with the writing style.. it sent my ADD into hyper drive or something. I did finally speed up the audio to around 1.35 and was able to start to focus much better after that but daaannnggg I thought I was going to have to put this down and come back when I could get a physical copy. I’ve heard such wonderful things about this series and have seen a ton of my friends reviews of this and I was getting pretty anxious, thinking I was going to have to DNF till later, but I made it through and look forward to reading a physical copy so I would like to retain the right to change my mind on certain aspects at that time.

Now for the important stuff.. lol. This book had an interesting, amazing, very intricate and unique take on the magic world. Alternate dimensions, each a kingdom containing different types of magic, grey being the “human” dimension where magic has faded, Red being a kingdom with a great balance of magic, the White kingdom starving for magic, and the Black kingdom which was lost and closed off from the other kingdoms centuries ago due to magic taking over the kingdom. The only people that can travel between all the kingdoms seem to a race of blood magicians called the Antari, of which our MMC Kell is one of the last 2 remaining. Kell raised in the Red kingdom by the king and queen themselves travels between the kingdoms “smuggling” on the DL despite his adoptive brother Rye’s warnings against it. The other Antari, Holland, acts as a messenger between the kingdoms. During one of Kell’s smuggling attempts between kingdoms he ends up possessing a black stone, that ends up snowballing into a death defying adventure. Along the way he picks up a sidekick, Lyla from the grey side. That Lyla though lol. She is ridiculous, doesn’t put up with Kell’s stuffy crap, NEVER listens, and somehow always manages to save the day lol. Girl is a hot mess but its working I guess. I am super interested to see what is ahead for these characters, Lyla in particular since she has a particular talent of hitching rides across colors… lol.

I’m super interested on seeing where this is headed but I would definitely like to do a quick reread with a physical copy before I move forward in the series. I feel like there are parts I’m still missing… just small holes here and there, but I like being able to make small connections here and there and not having the info would keep me from my fullest potential enjoyment! I’ll be back for this series for sure!!



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Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Published: April 24th 2018

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #1

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


4.5 stars. Fantastic start to the series! This book completely captivated me right from the start, and I had no problems sinking right into the story and staying there cover to cover. I really debated on giving this book 5 stars because it was so enjoyable for me, however, I would like to leave some room to completely wow me as the series continues. I feel like our FMC Theo has a ways to go development wise, as she learns how to deal with her new role, and works through the horrors of her past, and grows into herself really.

Surviving as a prisoner/whipping post, in a conquered land to a ruthless Kaiser, after watching her mother brutally murdered before her eyes, our FMC Theo, has learned to wear her masks well, or else suffer or watch others suffer the consequences in her place. Constantly aware of the games being played with her and around her she has learned to never trust, never let her guard down, and always play along. Growing up as the “Ash Princess” in this ruthless and unforgiving court, her only “friend” the daughter of the man who murdered her mother, Theo is to frightened to even dream of a different life, one of freedom. That is until, a notorious rebel is captured and his life.. yet another game for the Kaiser to play, is put in her hands.. This rebel however, comes with a host of memories long since buried in Theo’s mind, and triggers a domino effect of decisions made by Theo to not only save herself, but maybe even plan to save what is left of her torn kingdom, even if she has to betray all the “friends” she has made along the way.

We have some super interesting plot concepts playing out here, and we have really just barely touched the surface so far of the magic of this world and the consequences of these invaders defiling their gods areas with the mining of the gems etc. I think what kept me from smashing that 5 star was the fact that we have only barely touched on the magic so far in the series though it has been set up really well so far, and Theo herself as a character is still demonstrating the mindset of always pleasing others.. This has been beaten into her over the years, to be exactly what everyone wants and I’m waiting on her to climb her way out of that hole and take ownership of herself so to speak. We also have some intriguing mysteries surrounding some side characters, that I can’t wait to find some answers about! Super entertaining read, with just enough suspense and intrigue to keep a reader involved! Can’t wait to find out what is next!
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Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill

Published: September 25th 2018

Series: Give the Dark My Love #1

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I need to “clear the air” so to speak to kick this review off. I had read the blurb.. and I felt it was a tad misleading. To me personally, the blurb gave the impression that there was going to be a bit of romance in here. What happened here was not that… This was for lack of a better description.. a very macabre read. The impression of a love interest possibly saving the FMC Nedra, was a false impression lol. In fact, I feel like if I hadn’t been waiting for the romance aspect to finally kick in and get serious the whole time I think that I could have weathered this out better.

That being said I really thought this had some great potential with very interesting concepts and a well thought out magical/scientific basis. The story line was easy for me to sink into right from the beginning. It really started off with a bang. If it weren’t for my confusion of an expectation vs reality nature here. I think that I could really have gotten behind it a little more. I feel like the main criticisms I have were the characters having really narrow personalities, and there being hardly any chemistry between characters, and the back story and world building felt a little like an after thought, thrown haphazardly in at times.

Our story starts with Nedra, our FMC, journeying from her poor northern village to the city of Yugen to attend an alchemy school (seemingly for only wealthy, prominent, and spoiled rotten young adults) on scholarship. Nedra, is an ambitious girl, with a true passion to heal the mysterious wasting plague that has been popping up all over their island causing people’s blood and limbs to turn black and eventually die. She goes to attend the school and finds its like nothing she has ever known before. Apprenticed under a very strict master. I feel like the “schooling” part of this story was super rushed over, almost a fact dumb but at the same time hardly giving us any information. Most of the students treat Nedra with disdain, all but Grey aka star pupil. Honestly, I almost felt like Grey was just a side character.. he mostly just walked through the scenes, acting bored, spouting opinions or feeling sorry for himself, he really had no purpose for this story. As Nedra furthers her studies she becomes more and more aware of the political turmoil her island is in, as well as the overwhelming increase in “plague” victims. People are dying left and right and Nedra is desperate for answers grasping at anything to save them… even forbidden Necromancy. Learning that the plague is probably caused by a Necromancer, Nedra turns toward the 4th alchemy once her parents die from the sickness and her sister is struck. The island is in chaos, revolting, government officials dead or in disposed. Her Master at school has been taken in for teaching her Necromancy… Taking up her new talent she storms toward the hidden Emperor to get some revenge and find some truth.. though that truth may not be what she thinks…

There were some hidden plot twists and turns though they weren’t super surprising really. Though we aren’t honestly left on a cliffhanger… we are left with things.. unfinished I guess, and with no knowledge of where things are headed for Nedra now that she is a Necromancer. In my opinion it was a little anticlimactic and kind of ended abruptly. I did have some issues with some aspects of the book but all in all it was an interesting read.. I think it really could have been epic but… maybe in the next book…
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Voice of Power by Melanie Cellier

Voice of Power by Melanie Cellier

Publisher: Luminant Publications

Published: December 26th 2018

Series: The Spoken Mage #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Voice of Power by Melanie Cellier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I was very surprised by the start to this series. The concept was incredibly original, entertaining, and profound to me. The first book in this series had me actually contemplating “creation” from an authors standpoint as the characters in this book battle to “compose” their magic. Also, this book really brought reading into a different perspective for me, and made me realize how much I may take for granted the ability to read and even write and the gift it really is.

In this world, just the act of writing by someone not of mage blood can bring dire consequences, even mass destruction, because people without mage blood have no ability to control the power release by written word. What a profound concept really…and the truth of it even applies to real life without magic.. or maybe even its own form of magic. Therefor, “common born” people are not allowed to learn to read, because that will lead to writing. In fact they aren’t even allowed to gaze upon the written word. Mage born however, learn to read and then properly control what they write expending energy and power into written spells that can be used at any time. All but Elena, who in a fit of miraculous impossibility, with no training whatsoever, and having never read or written a thing speaks a word “STOP” into an unruly crowd and everyone freezes.. until a power blast is felt throughout her kingdom as the power breaks apart. Taken to the Academy for mages to be “studied” and to learn control Elena must not only learn all about her ability herself since she seems to be the first of her kind.. Spoken Mage, and she must also maneuver the political intrigues in this new mage born world, all the while attempting to thwart attempts at her life for being an “unknown.”

Though we had a lot of info thrown around in here as Elena learns, I had no trouble keeping up. I did however, feel like it took almost half the book before Elena finally gets some things figured out and starts learning how her “power” works. The end of the book wrapped up awesomely, with Elena really coming into herself and owning somethings, as well as deciding what she is.. and isn’t going to put up with! YOU ROCK ELENA! I really enjoyed the characters in this book even though for most of the book it seems we are doomed to wading through an episode of “Mean Girls” with grown ups included. SMH. I really can’t wait to see where this is headed, especially with a war with another kingdom in process…
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Creeptastic Book Stop – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published: January 31st 2017

Series: Caraval #1

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Thrillingly creeptastic read, but not in a horror way. Have you ever read something and it just weighed on your mind for the rest of the day not just the characters and the story but the hint of a deeper meaning that might have been hidden underneath the tale? I felt like this book was riding on the line of profound in its lessons. As I watched the FMC, Scarlet, throw away some of her inhibitions in order to actually not just be alive but experience life even though it was not quite pretty… Whew this was an intense ride! I debated for a few whether or not to give this 5 stars… that’s how much it messed me up lol. I decided on 4 ish + stars because the romance aspect didn’t quite wow me, in fact if I were to break this up, this particular area might have only gotten like a 2 or 3 from me personally. This book was quite the emotional roller coaster with its intense twists and turns, ups and downs, and even upside downs. The illusion factor, very “Twighlight Zone”, and being right with the character not knowing what is really real was mind blowing and made for a really riveting read.

Scarlet our FMC has never left her home island. Having grown up with an extremely overbearing, controlling, and abusive father, her sister, Tella, and her have dreamed about running away. Hearing stories of the Caraval from her grandmother made her yearn to see the magic, and for many years of her childhood she wrote to the master, Master Legend, and begged him to bring his players to her island. In one last later she tells him she is due to be married, and tells him not to come. To her amazement she receives a response along with tickets for her to visit the games. But how can they leave, her father will ruin her hope of freedom through marriage if she disobeys him now… In a crazy scheme her sister takes the decision from her and has Julian kidnap Scar and abscond with her to the island for the games. Unfortunately in the process they lose Tella. Now, Scarlet is in a desperate rush to find Tella, all the while participating in these games where anything could be real or unreal. Scarlet must face her fears, solve the clues to save Tella, and maybe even give up everything or she may lose everything to the game.

This book had a real “life lessons” feel at times with the facing of the fears, and I was given pause multiple times to contemplate the profound message hidden underneath some of the comments and banter.


“You’re too quick to dive into fear,” Nigel said. “What you think of as fate only applies to the past. Our futures are only predictable because as creatures of this world we are predictable.”

World building wise I really thought the author did an amazing job of dragging us through this world of illusion. In my mind I can’t quite work out if it would be harder to create something realistic or something the reader knows is not to be taken as real and yet feels so real. plays Twilight Zone theme song in the background One of the more interesting things the author incorporates in her games is the asking of questions as payment… to buy something you must tell your biggest fear, or biggest desire. In a way this forces a character to be honest with themselves and allows you as the reader to get to truly know a character despite what they are telling themselves via inner monologues. Very clever and more personal in some ways.

“I think I’ve made a mistake.”…. “Then make it into something better.”

As for the romance factor, though Scarlet is undeniably and annoyingly drawn to Julian, she also has some childhood fantasies she is clinging to. The relationship interest between Scarlet and Julian is mostly them attempting to annoy one another. It lacked chemistry for me, and maybe even intensity in emotion.. other than their annoyance for one another. I just wasn’t honestly feeling them.

I can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series and see what is next. It seems as though we have closed a door on Scarlet’s story and are on to greener pastures.. maybe.. I really look forward to the next game… I’m onto you Mr. Legend…. I got your number now!







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