Wednesday, April 17

Review: Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2 / Grisha #2)

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2; Grisha #2)
Leigh Bardugo


Published By: Indigo Books
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Date Read: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 386
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14061955-siege-and-storm

From Goodreads:
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

"Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea."

The Grisha books have been sat on my shelf for such a long time and after starting it earlier this year as part of a series readalong I was completely in awe of this amazing series. Following Shadow and Bone, I couldn't wait to get started on the second book in the series. Siege and Storm was even better than Shadow and Bone. I loved every single moment of it.

Siege and Storm picks up exactly where Shadow and Bone left of, with Alina and Mal escaped from The Darkling and on the run. But soon enough Alina and Mal find themselves in danger again and Aline just can't leave the Grisha part of her behind. Can Alina help defeat The Darkling for good with her growing power while keeping Mal at her side?

I loved Siege and Storm so much more than Shadow and Bone. Leigh completely captured my attention yet again and I couldn't stop reading. Siege and Storm is so action packed and fast paced and I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I loved every single second of this book and couldn't believe what was happening. This series has some of the best characters that I have ever read. I have such a love-hate relationship with The Darkling... like I know he's the bad guy but I can't stop loving him at the same time.

Alina is such a fantastic character to follow through and I love reading from her point of view. She is absolutely fantastic and I love experiencing this journey from her perspective. I love seeing her growing more and more powerful and how that has changed her outlook on everything. My one issue with the series is I don't really like the main love interest. Mal irritates me to no end. I just feel like he doesn't really accept Alina for who she is and all he does in mope and complain. Get a grip man! On the other hand, one of the things I loved the most about Siege and Storm was that we were introduced to new character Nikolai. He is fast becoming my favourite character of the series. I love him. He is cocky and snarky and hilarious. I adore him!! I hope there is lots more Nikolai to come in the next book.

Siege and Storm definitely exceeded my expectations. It was absolutely phenomenal and I cannot wait to read the third book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I know it's going to be amazing and I cannot wait to see how Alina's storyline ends. I will definitely be reading it immediately. If you haven't read this series I highly recommend it. I am definitely kicking myself for not reading this one sooner.

"We are alike, as no one else is, as no one else will ever be."


Wednesday, April 10

Review: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Julie Kagawa

Published By: Mira Ink
Publication Date: May 3, 2013
Date Read: February 27, 2019
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 434
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17453202-the-eternity-cure

From Goodreads:
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

"There are no good choices, Allison. There are only those you can live with, and those you can work to change."

The Eternity Cure has been sat on my shelf for years and I always intended to pick it up but then never did. To be honest I wasn't an enormous fan of the first book in this series, The Immortal Rules. I enjoyed the premise of it, the dystopia world with vampires. It was pretty unique and cool but I just found it slow and pretty boring in places but there was just something about it that made me want to continue the series at some point. As part of my 2019 'Series Catch-Up Challenge' I finally picked up The Eternity Cure... and I am so glad that I did. This was far, far superior than the first book. I loved it!

The Eternity Cure follows Allison as she leaves the humans behind and goes in search of Kanin, her sire. But with lots of obstacles in the way, Allison seems to be running out of time. She needs to save Kanin and gain his help to stop the new plague that is on the rise. This one threatening to wipe out both humans AND vampires. Can she get to Kanin in time? And does he really have the answers?

I loved The Eternity Cure. It was absolutely amazing!! Right from the start I was totally enamoured by the characters, the world... everything. This was such a drastic change from the first book. The pace massively picks up in this one and I couldn't put the book down. There were twists and turns that I was not expecting and there were many times that I was left mouth agape unable to believe what just happened. It really showed Julie Kagawa at her storytelling best!

I am a big fan of Julie Kagawa as it is, I loved her Iron Fey series and although I was disappointed with The Immortal Rules, she is back to her best in this book. Her storytelling is phenomenal. She has developed this world so perfectly and it's so complex and there's more to everything than what you first think. I think with The Immortal Rules being slower paced it allowed for this amazing world development that made this book incredible! I am so, so happy that I continued.

The Eternity Cure blew me away! There was so much going on and I couldn't put it down. The ending felt a tad bit rushed to me which brought my rating down slightly but honestly I am so freaking excited to read the third book and see how all of this is going to end. I loved every second of The Eternity Cure and I am itching to get my hands on The Forever Song. This is looking like it'll be my favourite Julie Kagawa series. It's a must-read!

"You will always be a monster - there is no turning back from it. But what kind of monster you become is entirely up to you."


Saturday, April 6

Early Review: Storm and Fury (The Harbringer #1)

Storm and Fury (The Harbringer #1)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Published By: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Date Read: March 18, 2019
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: eARC from JLA
Format: E-Book 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40291564-storm-and-fury

From Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

"I had downloaded the ebook on my iPad, but it wasn’t the same as holding the paper copy. It was never the same."

There are actually no words to explain my utter excitement for this book. Most people who know me know Jennifer L Armentrout is my all time favourite author and I am always excited for her books. This one was a little bit more than the usual excitement though. I am a huge lover of Jen's YA Paranormal/Fantasy books the most and I loved The Dark Elements series. However I had a love-hate relaionship with the final book of that series due to my heartache over how it all ended for my boy, Zayne. All the way through the Dark Elements series I preferred Zayne over Roth which was very much the unpopular opinion. I always knew things were not going to end brilliantly for him, but I wasn't ready for my complete heartbreak over how things happened. Now, imagine my excitement to hear not only was he getting his own book... but his own series. *fangirling*

Storm and Fury was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved every single second of this book. I loved the new characters that were introduced and I loved the 'older' characters that we revisited. Trinity is such a fantastic character. I adored her and she is possibly one of my favourite characters... ever! She is so strong and admirable. She has a degenerative eye disease which means that she can't see very well but she doesn't let it hold her back. She is just phenomenal!! I adore her and I ship her and Zayne so bad. She is everything I could have wanted for him and more.

One thing I loved about this book is that although we are following Trinity's story we still get to see some of the beloved characters from the Dark Elements series and I loved seeing what they were all up to. I love how it all linked together and honestly this book is storytelling at it's finest. Although Storm and Fury is the start of a new series, I highly recommend reading the Dark Elements series first if you haven't already read it. It makes everything make so much more sense and it just shows Jen as the storytelling goddess that she is.

Everything about Storm and Fury was perfection. The action, the mystery and the slow-burning romance. It is essentially everything that I love in YA all wrapped up in one perfect book. I guessed one of the revelations at the end, but that did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the book at all. I loved absolutely everything about it and I cannot wait for book 2. It's gonna be one hell of a wait but I will endure it... while re-reading Storm and Fury again and again and again. Possibly the best book I have read so far this year and it's right up there tackling the Covenant series for my JLA top-spot. Absolutely phenomenal!

"I’m guessing the sky is full of stars?"
"It is, but the only ones that matter are the ones you see."


Wednesday, April 3

Wrap Up: March 2019


Hey Guys,
Can you believe that it's already April? I definitely can't. I had such a really slow reading month this month and only managed three books. However in April I have two weeks off work so I am definitely planning to catch up on my reading then. Well, here is my month in books.


Book Haul:

Hardcopies:




Bought:

Vicious (Villains #1) by VE Schwab - See Review HERE
Vengeful (Villains #2) by VE Schwab
Enchantee by Gita Trelease
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2 / Grisha #5) by Leigh Bardugo
The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton


E-Books:
For Review:

  
Storm and Fury (Harbringer #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout 


Books Read in March 2019:




Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2 / Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo - 5 Stars
Storm and Fury (Harbringer #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa - 4 Stars



Reviews Posted in March 2019:

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus
Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5) by Joelle Charbonneau
Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2) by Joelle Charbonneau
Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Favourite Reads of March 2019:

As I only managed to read three books this month there is no top 3 but I will share with you my favourite read of the month...






How was your month in books?



    Wednesday, March 27

    Review: Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1 / Grisha #1)

    Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1 / Grisha #1)
    Leigh Bardugo

    Published By: Indigo
    Publication Date: July 31, 2014
    Date Read: February 22, 2019
    Genre: YA - Fantasy
    Source: Bought
    Format: Paperback
    Pages: 308
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22819449-shadow-and-bone

    From Goodreads:
    'I've been waiting for you along time, Alina,' he said.
    'You and I are going to change the world'


    The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

    Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the world of the kingdom's magical elite - the Grisha. Could she be the key setting Ravka free?

    The Darkling, a man of seductive charm and terrifying power. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

    But what of Mal, Alina's childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can't she ever quite forget him?

    "I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world."

    Shadow and Bone has been on my 'TBR' for what feels like absolutely forever. I remember seeing it everywhere and seeing everyone raving about it. As it's a fantasy, which is my favourite genre, I knew this would be something that I would absolutely love... but for some reason it just remained sat there on my shelf unread for years. Fast-forward to 2019 and my Goodreads group selected this series as our group series readalong and it was really the motivation that I needed to finally pick up this book. And I am now totally kicking myself for not reading this sooner because it's awesome!

    Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina, an orphan who is suddenly thrust into the glamorous world of the magical Grisha, when she is discovered to have a very rare and coveted power. Now Alina must learn how to live in this new, beautiful world that can also be very deadly. Who does she trust? And can she really leave her old life behind, along with the boy she has loved forever?

    This book is just incredible! I remember thinking that because so many people were loving this book that I wouldn't get the hype or it wouldn't live up to those expectations but honestly from the moment I opened Shadow and Bone to the very last page I was completely in awe. This is the first Leigh Bardugo book I have read and honestly, I am such a fan now. Her writing style was wonderful. I was just taken away on this incredible magical journey and I couldn't put it down until I was finished.

    I am so glad that I finally decided to read Shadow and Bone. It has some of the most amazing characters I've ever read about. They are so realistic and there's so much more beneath the surface with each of them. I was totally taken away and in love with one particular character, I'm not saying who because I hate spoilers, and then they turned out to be tricking Alina and lying to her and I honestly felt that betrayal and heartbreak myself because I was tricked along with her. To me, that is a sign of phenomenal characterisation and storytelling.

    Shadow and Bone is one of my favourite reads of the year so far and I am so excited about continuing this series. I can't wait to see what twists and turns Leigh is going to shock me with next. I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this series but better late than never! I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone and I have no doubt I will continue to love this world, storyline and characters with the next book. If you haven't picked this up yet, I highly recommend that you do!

    "I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now."


    Wednesday, March 20

    Review: Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2)

    Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2)
    Joelle Charbonneau

    Published By: Harper Teen
    Publication Date: June 5, 2018
    Date Read: February 17, 2019
    Genre: YA - Fantasy
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss
    Format: E-Book
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35270739-eden-conquered

    From Goodreads:
    The electrifying conclusion to the Dividing Eden series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Testing trilogy, Joelle Charbonneau..

    The Trials of Virtuous Succession have ended. Prince Andreus is king—and Princess Carys is dead.

    But even as he’s haunted by what he did to win the throne, Andreus discovers that his dream of ruling only brings new problems. The people love his twin even more in death than they did when she was alive. The Elders treat him as a figurehead. And worst of all, the winds of Eden are faltering.

    But despite what everyone believes, Carys is alive. Exiled to the wilderness, Carys struggles to control the powers that have broken free inside her. And as she grows stronger, so does her conviction that she must return to the Palace of Winds, face her twin and root out the treachery that began long before the first Trials started.

    The Kingdom of Eden is growing darker with each passing day. Brother and sister, former foes, must decide whether some betrayals cut too deep to be forgiven—and whether one will wear the crown or both will lose everything.

    Dividing Eden was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I loved Joelle Charbonneau's YA Dystopia series The Testing, and was so looking forward to her take on a Fantasy series. I really enjoyed Dividing Eden and couldn't wait to see what happened next. Eden Conquered has been sat on my kindle for so long and I can't really explain why I didn't read it before now. I am so glad I finally picked it up as Eden Conquered was such a fantastic ending to this series.

    Eden Conquered picks up right where Dividing Eden left off, with Andreus as king and Carys on the run. Right from the start of the book I was totally taken away on this journey with Carys and Andreus. I loved that it was told from the perspectives of both, so we got to see what was happening with both characters. I loved this so much because they were in two different places and going through very different troubles so it was really nice that we weren't 'out of the loop' or forgetting about any of them. Carys and Andreus are two absolutely fantastic characters and I actually loved seeing how much they both developed throughout this book. The characters at the end of this book are definitely not the same people that they were at the start of this series... and I think that's a very good thing. There is nothing better than being able to experience the change and growth that they go through individually.

    Joelle Charbonneau is such a fantastic author and I absolutely loved every moment of this book. I was totally enamoured by the fantastic world building, characterisations and storyline that she expertly weaved in this book. I couldn't put the book down and there were so many twists and turns that I just wasn't expecting at all. I was definitely kept on my toes right the way through this amazing book and I am so glad I read the finale of this great series.

    Young Adult Fantasy is without a doubt my favourite genre and the Dividing Eden series is a definite must-read for any fans of this genre. It is absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this series. It is filled with action, intrigue, a war for the crown and a dash of romance... everything I adore in a fantasy book. My one wish is that Joelle would write more in this series about some of the other characters. Here's to hoping for a spin-off series.

    "The orb is a beacon and they are coming. Like moths to a flame. And when it arrives everyone will burn."


    Wednesday, March 13

    Review: Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)

    Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)
    Joelle Charbonneau

    Published By: Harper Collins
    Publication Date: March 13, 2018
    Date Read: February 10, 2018
    Genre: YA - Fantasy
    Source: Bought
    Format: E-Book
    Pages: 107
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35230411-forbidden-fruit

    From Goodreads:
    See the secrets of Eden’s twisted legacy from a new perspective with this short story set in the world of bestselling author Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden.

    Graylem was born to expect a life of thievery, but superior swordsmanship and a desire for something better had long fueled his dreams to become a member of a noble family’s guard.

    But when his sister Deevana’s latest scheme forces them to leave their home—and all memories of their life in Blackthorn Keep—behind, they chart a southern course towards a new life in Irae, by way of the magnificent Garden City. Disguised as northern nobles, they quickly find themselves caught up in the mysterious politics of Eden’s royal family—and infatuated by its newest member, the beautiful seeress Imogen.

    A member of Eden’s guard offers Graylem the chance to prove his worth, but his brutal trial for entry into the guard is waylaid by the appearance of Prince Andreus and Princess Carys. Graylem may be a simple man, but when he sees the royal siblings conferring in secret, he knows that all is not well in the Palace of the Winds—and before long, he learns that whatever darkness is lurking in the city’s walls could mean devastation for his family… and for Eden.

    Dividing Eden was a book I read so long ago, and I loved every moment of it. I have been a big fan of Joelle's since I read her amazing YA Dystopia series, The Testing. When I heard of her writing a YA Fantasy, I knew I'd love it, and I did. For some reason I just never continued this duology when the second book released. Now, as part of my 2019 Series Catch-Up Challenge, I finally decided to finish this series. Before diving into Conquering Eden, I decided to read this novella that sits between book 1 and 2.

    Now, since it's been quite a while since I read Dividing Eden, and the fact that I have a pretty crappy memory, I don't really know who these main characters from this novella actually are. Saying that though... I really enjoyed this short story set in the world of Eden. I was quickly taken away on this journey with Graylem and his sister. It did a great job of reminding me of factors within this world that I had forgotten and so I am super glad that I read this novella before diving into book 2.

    Forbidden Fruit was a fast-paced and intriguing novella that I highly recommend reading before book 2. It left me so excited to get started on Conquering Eden and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen to these characters next. I highly recommend this incredible series and I can't wait to see how it all ends.