Wednesday, April 8

Review: Wonder Woman Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Wonder Woman Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
Leigh Bardugo

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: August 31, 2017
Date Read: February 25, 2020
Genre: YA - Fantasy / Superhero
Source: Illumicrate
Format: Paperback
Pages: 369

From Goodreads:
She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning...

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.

Alia is a Warbringer - a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.

To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.

"We can't help the way we're born. We can't help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves."

Wonder Woman Warbringer has been sat on my shelves for such a long time. It's a book that I got in one of my Illumicrate boxes and it just went straight on the shelf. I'm not actually a huge fan of DC, so I wasn't really bothered about this series, however after recently reading and loving Leigh's Shadow and Bone series, I decided to finally give this one a go. I was actually pleasantly surprised with this one and ended up really enjoying it.

Wonder Woman Warbringer tells the backstory of Diana. Having never left her island she has been sheltered all her life but after she sees a boat accident just off the shore, she can't help but save the life of the young woman in danger. It turns out this woman is a Warbringer. She will bring about war like you've never seen unless Diana can get her to the spring of her ancestors... and quickly. Will she be able to make it in time?

I found the beginning of this one a bit slow but once Diana left her island and it was the race against time, I felt like it massively picked up and I started to really enjoy the story. It was fast-paced and action-packed, just what I like in a book. I am very much a plot-driven reader and this is definitely a plot-driven book so I loved that. One thing I did miss was the romance. While there is a small hint of romance it's quite fleeting and there is nothing I love more than a good romance in books. I did miss that element, but other than that this book was a great read.

Wonder Woman Warbringer was a pleasant surprise for me. I probably won't be picking up the rest of the series as they are by different authors that I don't typically read and I'm not a big lover of DC. However, if you're a DC lover, or a fan of Leigh Bardugo's then I highly recommend picking this one up.

"The whole world loves to tell us what we can't do, that we aren't good enough. The people in your own house should be on your side. It's the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they're the ones who keep trying."




Wednesday, April 1

Wrap Up: March 2020


Hey Guys,
Well.... hasn't March been a crazy month? Back when I was writing the wrap up post for February I never in a million years thought I'd be writing this post after teaching online lessons while in lockdown. It's been a long month.... but let's distract ourselves from everything and talk about books. In terms of my reading this month, my theme was Fantasy.

Here's my month in books.

Book Haul

Hardcopies:

Bought:
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas

E-Books:


For Review:
From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Books Read in March 2020:




Oath Bound (Unbound Trilogy #3) by Rachel Vincent - 4 Stars
From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas - 4 Stars
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern - 3 Stars

Reviews Posted in March 2020:


Favourite Books of March 2020:




#3: Oath Bound (Unbound #3) by Rachel Vincent
#2: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas
#1: From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout

TBR for April

In April my theme is: Retellings


What are you planning on reading in April?


Tuesday, March 31

Review: From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1)

From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Published By: Blue Box Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Date Read: March 7, 2020
Genre: NA - Fantasy
Source: eARC from JLA
Format: E-Book
Pages: 634

From Goodreads:
A Maiden

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy's life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A duty

The entire kingdom's future rest on Poppy's shoulders, something she's not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And a longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden

A Kingdom

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her lofe when every blood-soaked threat that holds her together begins to unravel.

"From blood and ash, we will rise."

There were no words to describe just how excited I am to be writing this review right now. It's no surprise to any of you who have been following me a while just how much I adore Jennifer L Armentrout. Ever since getting an ARC of her debut back in 2011 I have been completely and utterly obsessed. No matter how much I adored every single thing that she has wrote (and I really have) I still had this utter need for her to write a fantasy novel. Fantasy is my all time favourite genre of book and I could think of nothing better than my favourite author writing a fantasy novel. So I'm sure you can imagine my excitement to hear she had wrote a fantasy. I knew from the moment she announced she was writing it that it would be epic... and I was right. This has surpassed all of Jen's previous work for me. It was definitely worth the wait. From Blood and Ash is in a word... perfection!

From Blood and Ash had absolutely everything I adore in a fantasy book, wrapped up in the most beautiful exterior... I mean come on, look at that cover. It's a masterpiece. And the inside matches up. There are no words for me to adequately describe just how phenomenal this book is. I loved every single moment of it. It is a little bit slower to get into than Jennifer's previous works but as an avid fantasy reader, I expected this. Epic fantasy books just take that much more build up of the history and the magical world that the story is set in. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down and I devoured this 500+ page book in a matter of two days.

I loved everything about this book. The world, the history, the magic, the twists and turns and the romance. From Blood and Ash takes you on one hell of a journey and you are left at the end begging for more. This book has some of the best, multi-dimensional characters that I have ever read. I loved every single moment of Poppy and Hawke's complex relationship and the journey that they go through throughout this book. They both go through such a personal journey throughout this novel and grow so much as individuals. It has been a long, long time since I have felt the urge to re-read a book immediately after finishing reading but I did with this one. The moment I read the last page, I just wanted to start it all over again. I am sat here envious of all the people who still get to experience this absolute masterpiece for the very first time. It is just complete perfection.

From Blood and Ash is a phenomenal fantasy novel that is filled to the brim with danger, mystery and heart melting romance. I loved every single second of it and I couldn't get enough of this new fantastical world. A heart stopping start to what is clearly going to be a stunning series, perfect for both those who love fantasy and those who are new to the genre. An absolute must-read.

"You look absolutely exquisite, Poppy. I just needed to tell you that."



From Blood and Ash is out today. Visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble or anywhere good books are sold. 

Wednesday, March 25

Review: Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1)

Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1)
Amelie Wen Zhao

Published By: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: November 28, 2019
Date Read: February 22, 2020
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Illumicrate
Format: Hardback
Pages: 464

From Goodreads
BLOOD HEIR is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the conman she must trust to clear her name of murder.

Princess Anastacya Mikhailov of Cyrilia has lived her life in safety, hidden behind palace walls. But when she is framed for her father's brutal murder, she must leave behind everything she has ever known to find his killer and prove her innocence. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help her - Ramson Quicktongue. A cunning, silver-tongued crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has his own sinister plans - though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of them all.

"I suppose we are all heroes in our own eyes, and monsters in the eyes of those who are different."

Going in to Blood Heir I didn't really know what to expect. I had seen such a mixture of reviews with some people absolutely loving this book and some really hating on this book. I received this book from my Illumicrate subscription box and I am so, so glad that it was included in their box. Due to the mixed reaction I'd seen on this one it's probably not one I would have picked up and I would have missed out on such a phenomenal book. Blood Heir was absolutely fantastic. It is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

Blood Heir follows the story of Ana, a runaway princess with a dark power that she must hide. She needs to find the person who killed her father and clear her name so that she can go back home. She must join forces with notorious conman and crime lord. But will it really be that easy for them and can they trust each other enough to survive?

Right from the start of this book I was completely obsessed with this world building and characterisation. Amelie took me by complete surprise with this debut novel of hers as her writing style is addictive and phenomenal. I could not put this book down. Every spare moment that I got I had my head in this book. Her storyline is filled with secrets and mystery and I just couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.

The characters in Blood Heir are probably some of my very favourites. Now this is how you do morally ambiguous characters well. I loved both of the main characters so much even though one was an untrustworthy conman and the other a murderous princess. I loved that they were both good and bad sides to each of them. It made them so multidimensional and Amelie was able to superbly develop these characters and discuss the moral question of what is good and evil. Honestly this entire book was just filled to the brim with fantastic lines and quotable moments. Although it is a fantasy book it really explores real life dilemmas and I absolutely loved it. As I'm reading I always type out and save my favourite quotes. Usually I end up with two or three... this book I ended up with fourteen.

Blood Heir was the biggest surprise of the year for me and for all the right reasons. It was such a stunning and incredible book. It was filled with secrets, surprise, action and intrigue. I loved every single second of it and I cannot wait to get my hands on book two later this year. It's going to be absolutely epic and I will be living for it!

"Only loss can teach us the true worth of things. There is nothing we can do but go on, one day at a time. We live in their memory, taking the breaths they cannot draw again, catching the warmth of the sunlight that they were meant to feel."



Saturday, March 21

Review: Eight Will Fall

Eight Will Fall
Sarah Harian

Published By: Henry Holt
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Date Read: February 18, 2020
Genre: YA - Fantasy / Horror
Source: Fairyloot
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352

From Goodreads:In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.

"Though I have fallen, darkness will rise."

Eight Will Fall is a book that I had never heard of before getting it in my Fairyloot subscription box. After getting it in that subscription box I decided it sounded quite cool and thought I'd give it a go. Honestly, I've never felt so mixed about a book as much as I do about this one. If I hadn't have received this in a subscription box I probably never would have bought it... and I'm not entirely sure that I would have been missing out on anything had I not.

Eight Will Fall is a very... weird book. It was super slow to start with and then when it picked up at around page 40 I was really intrigued and really enjoying it. This is a very dark and horror-eske book and I was enjoying it. I personally would not describe Eight Will Fall as a YA Fantasy. There is nothing fantasy in this book, in my opinion, other than the fact that the main characters have some sort of power. I would say this is more like a mix between a paranormal and a horror book.

The characters in this book are intended to be morally grey and I could see what the author was aiming for, having that debate of whether anyone is truly good or evil but I just felt like it didn't really work that well. All the characters just kind of felt and sounded the same. There wasn't really anything that set any one of them apart from the others and I didn't really form any sort of emotional connection with any of them. When something happened to any of them when usually I get very emotional and heartbroken I was just a bit like... meh oh well.

The more I read of Eight Will Fall the more I got bored and just wanted it to be over. A lot of the events just felt very repetitive. I could predict exactly what was going to happen next and that just takes the fun out of reading for me. I did at one point consider DNF'ing but I pushed though. I'm glad I finished it as I knew it would have bugged me not knowing what was going to happen to the characters but this is definitely not one I would re-read. If you like dark, horror type books then you may enjoy this one but you're not really missing out on much if you give this one a miss.

"There was light in this world. Larkin had found it in the darkest places, where she thought there could be none at all."



Wednesday, March 18

Review: Light Years (Light Years #1)

Light Years (Light Years #1)
Kass Morgan

Published By: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Date Read: February 14, 2020
Genre: YA - Sci-fi
Source: ARC from Illumicrate Box
Format: Paperback
Pages: 377

From Goodreads:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain - but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy - even if he has to steal someone's identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong - he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret - she's infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it'll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy - but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think...

Light Years is a book that I have had on my shelf for a while and have been super excited to finally read. I read Kass Morgan's The 100 years ago and loved it. I'm such a sucker for a sci-fi story and I couldn't wait to see her take on an intergalactic tale. I was not disappointed. Light Years was a super quick read for me as I couldn't get enough of this thrilling and exciting tale.

Light Years follows four main characters as they embark on their first year at the prestigious Quadra Fleet Academy. As Cormack, Arran, Vespa and Orelia make up one of the teams they will do anything to come out on top. But they are all keeping secrets from each other. Will they be able to trust each other enough to win... and will they survive through all of the secrets?

Light Years has quite a few perspectives in its narration. I have come to expect this from Kass Morgan's books as The 100 similarly was told from multiple perspectives. Like The 100 I found the many perspectives confusing at first as I do feel like four perspectives is quite a lot. However, once I got used to the different voices of the different characters I loved seeing the point of views of multiple characters. I feel like it gives the story so much more depth to be able to see it through the eyes of many. I especially loved that one of the perspectives was from the 'enemy race' so we got to see perspectives from both sides of this intergalactic war.

Light Years was fast paced and filled to the brim with action and intrigue. I seriously could not read this book fast enough. I just needed to know what was going to happen with these characters that I was growing to love. I loved every single second of this book and that ending absolutely rocked me to the core. I am so shocked and I can't wait to get my hands on the second book and find out what is going to happen next.



Saturday, March 14

Review: Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3)

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3)
Sara Raasch

Published By: Balzer and Bray
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Date Read: February 8, 2020
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 488

From Goodreads:
Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

"You are not what you've done. Who you are right now, this moment, is who you choose to be."

I started the Snow Like Ashes series what feels like forever ago. I remember absolutely adoring this series but I just never got around to finishing it. There was two main reasons for that, the first being I most definitely wasn't ready to finish the series and say goodbye to these characters that I absolutely loved. The other was that the second book was a bit of a let-down for me. I found it slow and a bit boring. I finally picked this one up as part of my series catchup challenge this year and I am so glad that I did. Book 2 was most definitely a case of 'second-book syndrome' being slow as it was building up to the epic finale and that's exactly what Frost Like Night was. Epic!

Frost Like Night follows all of the main characters preparing for the final battle against Angra and his decay. It was fast-paced, action-packed and a complete emotional trauma. Right from the start of this book I couldn't read it fast enough. I was thrown back into this world that I absolutely loved and I just couldn't wait to see how it was all going to end for Meira, Mather and Theron. I knew it was going to absolutely destroy my heart but I still held out the hope that it would be in a good way.

I loved every single second of this book and I feel like it was such a perfect ending to this series. It isn't a happy ever after for everyone and some of the characters endings are definitely bittersweet but I feel like that fit the series perfectly. It was never a happy story so I didn't expect that of the ending but I did feel like the ending was perfect for the characters. My one hope is that there will be a spin off series at some point following what happens after... I feel like that would just be brilliant.

Frost Like Night was an absolutely incredible ending to this series and I have just loved the entire series as a whole. It is definitely one that I will re-read in the future and I will be picking up Sara's other works in the future. If you haven't read this series already and you're a fan of fantasy I highly recommend you picking this one up. You won't be disappointed.

"No apologies. No matter what happens, I will never, not in a thousand tragic outcomes even regret loving you."