Serpent & Dove
Reviews / February 9, 2021

by Shelby Mahurin  In this book we follow Lou who is a witch in hiding, and Reid who’s a witch hunter desperate to make his mentor proud.  Lou is living from day to day, hiding and stealing to get away from a past she doesn’t want to remember or speak of. Together with her friend Coco, a blood witch, she’s seeking to steal a piece of jewelry called Angelica’s Ring. It’s a magical piece who’ll help Lou hide from those who seek to find and kill her.  But when the mission takes un unfortunate turn, Lou and Reid is forced to marry to avoid a scandal. Now Lou is trapped in a tower crowded by witch hunters who’ll burn her without question if they knew what she is. At the same time, there’s probably no safer place to hide from those she’s hiding from.  So, I tried my best to share what the book was about here, but I found it surprisingly difficult. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the book is about.  I thought this would be a riveting story of a war between witches and the church, of battle and enemies…

The Gilded Ones
Reviews / February 3, 2021

by Namina Forna In this book we follow Deka who’s a young woman in a world rules by men. All women are forced to serve men, but for those who are revealed to be different, serving the men in their lives sound like a dream. At fifteen, all girls undergo a ritual meant to separate the pure from the impure. Those who’s blue run gold are called alaki and they are tortured and murdered under the law. And when Deka is revealed to be one of them, she’s mutilated and tortured in the priest’s search for her final death, the method where Deka dies for good. But thanks to a woman she calls White Hands, Deka is rescued and brought to the emperor to train and fight as his elite force deemed to vanquish an enemy called Deathstrikers. An unholy band of beasts that slaughter humans for sports. As Deka trains with other alaki, she forms friendships she never thought possible, and she earns for the freedom she’s promised once the her 20 years of service is up. But as time passes, Deka’s powers evolve, and for every truth she uncovers about her heritage and the gilded ones, dozen more questions…

Secrets of the Starcrossed
Reviews / January 25, 2021

by Clara O’Connor In this book we meet Cassandra and Devyn, two star-crossed lovers who must work together to ignite the spark of rebellion in a futuristic world where the Roman Empire never fell. It sounds amazing, and I love the premise. And thinking that it’s compared to authors like Marie Lu, Cassandra Clare and comps Panem and Grishaverse as similar world, well… it didn’t quite live up to it’s promise there. So, I’m really conflicted about this book. On one hand I like it, on the other I honestly barely read it because it was too slow and filled with unnecessary details. The plot is there, it’s interesting, and I love the idea of this world. A place where the Roman Empire never fell? Now in some dystopian version of that alternate future? How interesting is that? However, I feel like the author got lost in the desire to share this world with the reader, so much so that the plot of the book drowned in unnecessary details mostly included to give a sense of the world. It was there from page one and unfortunately only got worse. I mean, I’m not supposed to be able to skim through…

mix bloods cover
Mix Bloods
Reviews / December 21, 2020

by Bobbie Gott In this book we follow Celestria Slavic, who is what would be similar to the princess of the vampire covens. Being a purebred vampire, she’s the next in line to take over after her father. Until then, she works with the newly turned vampires called Mix Bloods. At the beginning of the book, Celestria is forced to marry one of her students, Killian. This starts a spiral of events that leads to Celestria realizing that the coven keeps many secrets. Now, she must find a way to survive. So, I think this book is very interesting with a good premise. It has vampires and blood and a good plot with interesting characters. I can see how those who love vampire stories will enjoy this. It’s a rather traditional style of vampire that we’re introduced to here, which for me is a good thing. They are not good, but at the same time they are not all evil either. It makes them very real and interesting. This is a fast read and I appreciate that it’s not bogged down with exposition and unnecessary descriptions. It moves fast and things happen all the time and we move from one…

Imperfect Women
Reviews / August 29, 2020

by Araminta Hall In this book we follow three women and their struggles in life. One of the women, Mary, is found murdered and we then follow her two best friends as they navigate the strange world where their friend is gone. We mostly follow a woman called Elanor since she was the one closest to Mary and also happens to be in love in Mary’s husband. It is set up as a mystery. Who killed Mary? It starts out rather interesting where we learn that Mary had an affair with someone, a man called David. No one knows who he is and we get hints here and there to this man and at the same time the mystery unfolds and suspicions are cast upon Mary husband. Then, nothing sort of happens. The mystery is there, but lessens for every page as we get information in the most unsatisfying way. It’s just nagging women who can’t seem to fulfill their lives without the utterly assholes of men in their lives. I struggled with this book so much. It sounded so good and a murder mystery and these women and… well. It was boring. Straight out boring. Nothing happened, the characters…

His & Hers
Reviews / July 31, 2020

by Alice Feeney In this novel we meet Anna and Jack, a reporter and a detective chief inspector, as they try to solve the murder of one of Anna’s childhood friends. There’s always two sides to every story, and things are rarely as they seem. And as Jack appears to be set up for the murder, and Anna seems to be keeping secrets that may be the key to solving it all, things are heading straight towards disaster.   The above paragraph was perhaps not the greatest way to describe this novel, but in truth, I don’t really know how to share what this book is about without spoiling it. This book will definitely be best going into without too much knowledge because it is a roller-coaster of twists and revelations and unexpected details. I listened to the audiobook and one of the things that made this book an awesome experience was how one of the two narrators, Richard Armitage, really brought the character of Jack Harper alive. He was an awesome narrator that was so soothing to listen to.  At first I found that the book was progressing a bit slow, it took a while for it to take off, and…

A Golden Fury
Reviews / July 13, 2020

by Samantha Cohoe In this historical fantasy we meet Thea, an alchemist’s daughter and a protégé alchemist herself, a very talented one at that. She’s growing tired of the way her mother treats her and dreams of a life together with a boy called Will that used to work for her mother. At the same time, Thea and her mother is so close to reaching the ultimate goal, the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s a piece what can cure all illnesses, make anything into gold and it’s incredibly powerful. Thea’s mother wants to create to make a name for herself in a world where women are more or less owned by their husbands. So when Thea’s mother excludes Thea from the final steps of the creation, Thea’s furious and can’t believe her mother used her to get the stone but won’t share the credit for making it. Thea’s mother grows increasingly hostile and when she decides Thea will be leaving the country with a man she doesn’t even know, Thea can’t keep her mouth shut and the fight that follows changes everything. Thea’s mother becomes mad and tries to kill her when Thea discovers that her mother has in…

A Reaper at the Gates
Reviews / January 25, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the third book in the Ember Quartet and here we follow Laia, Elias and Helene. To avoid spoiling, I can’t really go into much of the plot here, but in this book we’re basically following three different plotlines with different goals and motivations that slowly but surely starts to merge as the Nightbringer’s plan gets more and more revealed. I’m really conflicted when it comes to this book because I feel like there was so much potential here and so much that could have been great, but wasn’t. I really enjoyed the plot and the sub-plots in this book, but oh my what a “skim-fest” this was. There were so much stuff that wasn’t needed, so many words that were just completely unnecessary. It slowed down the story so much that nothing felt urgent even though it was repeatedly expressed in the book how little time there were until things were too late and so on. But then all those pages that just went on and on about whatever. I wanted to throw the book away so many times. On top of the slow pacing of this book, there was no surprises, no moment when…

A Torch Against the Night
Reviews / January 15, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the second book in what’s called the Ember quartet. And in this novel, we continue following Laia and Elias as they try escape Serra and the Martials that are after them. In this book we also follow Helene, who is Elias’s best friend and a Mask as she’s forced to hunt down her friend. I think this is a solid continuation of the series, however I do find that it’s a bit slow and I found myself skimming a lot to get to the action. That’s probably just a personal thing, but I like books with fast pacing and lots of action. I don’t enjoy lingering on feelings and boring stuff.  There are also quite a lot of brutality that sometimes just seems to be there for shock value rather than something necessary for the story. It’s not like I’m turned off by the brutal descriptions and all that, but it’s more like they are too shallow and happens too often for them to really mean anything. When a character gets tortured, both physically and mentally, I want to care, I want to be horrified. But when they get out of one kind of torture…

An Ember in the Ashes
Reviews / January 9, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir In, An Ember in the Ashes we follow Laia and Elias, two people with two very different lives. Laia is a Scholar, a suppressed people living under the strict ruling of the Martials. They fear for their lives every day. Elias is a Mask, a force trained to kill and torture for the Empire. When their stories align, Laia have to get into Blackcliff, the school where Masks are trained, and Elias wants out. This book was a win for me, that much I can say. I flew through it and I found myself constantly wanting to read more and it was hard to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is great with tension, of building up each chapter in a way that makes it impossible not to read the next one and the next one. And it was this tension that made me end the book feeling like it was great, that it was a clear 5/5 stars for me. And because of that feeling, I am going to give it a full score.  The relationship between Elias and Laia is instantly full of tension. He’s a Mask and she’s grown up fearing them. It makes for…