Adult Fantasy, Reviews, Special Review, ya romance

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Goodreads Summary:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Review:

A Court of Mist and Fury is passionate, heart-breaking, breath-taking, deeply-emotional, illustrative, immortal.

A Court of Mist and Fury is Sarah J. Maas’ follow-up to her A Court of Thorns and Roses. I adored the first novel in this series and the second blew my mind to pieces. Maas’ world building is enchanting. Every aspect is so detailed. It makes settling into the story that much easier.

At the start of the novel Feyre is heart breaking; she has such a difficult time accepting her actions Under the Mountain- living with killing innocent fae. In this rescued world, Feyre has to now handle being Tamlin’s consort, planning a wedding, parties, holidays. But, having faced and defeated Amarantha, Feyre is not the same person. For one, she is an immortal now. For two, she wants to help rebuild the Spring Court and Prythian. But she wasn’t the only one to out broken and battered. Tamlin is having his own nightmares and they revolve around losing Feyre again. So when Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, comes to claim the bargain he and Feyre made, Tamlin loses it.

But that bargain between Feyre and Rhysand may be the only thing to save Feyre.

I loved, loved, loved the Night Court. It is so well built and protected. Within the Night Court, there are two separate courts- The Court of Nightmares and the Court of Dreams. Each is spectacular in their own right. Each is very different from other courts. And I unquestionably savored getting to know Rhysand and his inner circle- Cassian, Amren, Mor, and Azriel. They are the complete opposite of Lucien- Tamlin’s lap dog.

The relationship between Feyre and Rhysand is one of passion and power, but also one of respect and equality. When Feyre visits the Night Court, Rhysand doesn’t hold her captive, like Tamlin tried to do. Rhysand understands what Feyre needs to heal her heart and soul. And he doesn’t hold back. When she wants to help, he allows her, trains her, shows her that she is not a pet or pawn to be used willfully.

“No one was my master- but I might master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.”

This story captured my heart and soul. I couldn’t have asked for anything better and there is nothing I would rewrite. RATING: 6 OUT OF 5.

P.S. If you haven’t been to Target to read the exclusive story, go and read. It makes the story that much more juicy… and explains some things between two characters I now ship so hard.

***SPOILERS***

I do want to talk in depth about somethings. So if you haven’t read the novel, please don’t read below this.

***SPOILERS***

I had no clue that Rhysand and Feyre were mates and it blew my mind when the Suriel stated so. I could feel the passion building between them, the teasing and taunting, and I waited for the dam to break. (And if I am being honest, which I am, I shipped them so hard from the moment Rhys saved Feyre during the wedding to Tamlin- who wouldn’t fall in love with him). It took 75% of the book to do this. And when it did- WHOA. I know this book is advertised as Young Adult, but it definitely boarders on New Adult with the descriptive sexual scenes.

I also came to hate Tamlin by the end of the novel. And for good reason. He did nothing to help her while Under the Mountain. Rhys is completely correct, when Tamlin had the chance to help Feyre, he just kissed her in the shadows; he sat and Amarantha’s side idel, while Rhys had been her whore for 50 years and was doing everything in his power to get Feyre out. Knowing that they are mates makes the bargain even better now, while he couldn’t tell Feyre he loved her, he showed her in helping her win. Maas did an unbelievable job making me hate Tamlin more than I already did before Feyre was rescued at the beginning.

And finally- the end. I was stunned. The revelation that Feyre is the High Lady of the Night Court was shocking. The fact that no one new, that Hybern only removed the left glove, she was able to pretend to break their bond and go back to the Spring Court to bring Tamlin and the King of Hybern down is marvelous. Also shocking, was Elain being Lucien’s mate; now he has a higher stake in the war. He knows Feyre is lying about the bond, but at this point, he isn’t willing to risk Elain’s life- even if she is immortal now. And the fact that Elain and Nesta are immortal now changes a lot. My Nesta-Cassian ship can sail, sail, sail.

I could really gush forever about this book, but I’ll stop here. If you want to chat about spoilery things, let me know in the comments and we can email- booksinmybed@gmail.com, or find and DM on twitter- Liz_Anne_B.

Predictions for the third book:

  1. My Nesta-Cassian ship will sail
  2. Lucien will betray Tamlin to save and be with Elain
  3. There will be a war
  4. While I didn’t talk about the priestess above, Ianthe will die
  5. Tamlin will either die or be put in the Prythian version of jail
  6. Hybern will die
  7. Amren will be released
  8. I am worried that Cassian, Mor, or Azriel will die
  9. Rhys and Feyre will have children (in an epilogue probably- hopefully)

Rating: 6 out of 5

Tuesday Meme

Top Ten Tuesday: “Ten Books Every x Should Read”

TopTenTuesday

Thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for this wonderful meme! If you want to learn how to participate, click here and check it out. Promise you won’t regret it.

Oh man! It has been two months since Veronica and I participated in the TTT. And it’s super great to be back at it.

This weeks TTT is “Ten Books Ever x Should Read“.

Since I am a huge fantasy junky… my TTT is “Ten Books Every Fantasy Lover Should Read “.

 1. Six of Crows cause you doesn’t love a story with magic, romance, action, heists, robbery, and more?Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

2. The Square Root of Summer. Time travel, science fiction, romance, and quantum physics. You had me at time-travel! The Square Root of Summer

3. The Wrath and The Dawn. Fairy-tale retellings? Magic carpets? Unexplained magic? Blossoming love? Uh, I’m in! And so should you! The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)

4. Half-Blood. Because I can never get enough about Greek mythology, fantasy lovers should read The Covenant Series! Greek Gods, Demi Gods, Half-bloods, Titans. So. Much. Lore. Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

5. A Matter of Fate. This series I read last summer and it just blew me away. It’s a contemporary fantasy, making it easier to read, and more realistic… if magic and super powers were real. Also there is romance, and a love triangle (but not in a gross Twilight way.)A Matter of Fate (Fate, #1)

6. Under Different Stars. This series was quite unique. Taking place on both earth and the main character’s home planet. It definitely requires imagination and an open mind. But, none the less, it is packed full of fantasy elements. Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1)

7. Queen of the Tearling. This was an interesting fantasy read. Two queens, one with power, the other- barely functioning. They fight over land and resources, and how they came this world came to be is quite extraordinary. The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

8. Abandon. Another Greek mythology retelling, this one about Persephone and Hades. Takes place on a tiny island full of weird creatures. Abandon (Abandon, #1)

9. Fallen. I haven’t really given you any paranormal reads yet, and this one is fantastic. Angels, demons, two families at war, forbidden love. Fallen (Guardian Trilogy, #1)

10. Teardrop. A story about a girl, who if she cries, will flood the world. Based on the mythology of Atlantis. Teardrop (Teardrop Trilogy)

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Reviews, YA Fantasy

Book Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

GoodReads Summary:

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

My Review:

Listen to Lost Boy by Ruth B while you read this. I couldn’t get it out of my head while I read Unhooked.

Recently I have been in a pirate mood. I finished The Girl From Everywhere and Blackhearts. Let me tell you, when searching for good YA pirate books, there aren’t many out there… unless you want Fabio on the cover and then that is NOT a YA book. So in my searchings, I came across Unhooked. I am not usually one for Peter Pan and Neverland stories, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

I finished Unhooked in 24 hours.

Lisa Maxwell really draws you into the story through her narrative. And what’s great, there is more than one narrative being told.

Unhooked is not your traditional Peter Pan/ Captain Hook story. It literally unhooks the classic stories you’ve heard before and spins them on their head. Maxwell shows that not all “heroes” are good and that not all “villains” are bad. It is a deeper look at the decisions a person makes and how those decisions change the course of a person’s life. The simple act of turning off a light, or signing a paper.

“Since being brought to this world, I’ve come to understand that everything I’ve ever learned about good and evil, about choices we make and the choices we must live with, have been nothing more than convenient fictions invented by those who have never been confronted by the darkness and actually forced to choose.”

At the beginning, the relationships between Gwen, the Captain, and Pan are very convoluted. You don’t know who is telling the truth and who is lying. And as the story unfolds, truths become complicated, lies destroy. The tension between Gwen and the Captain is swoon worthy. I couldn’t get enough of him.

This is what I pictured every time.

When I started reading, about 100 pages in, I tweeted that I was sure my heart was going to break before the story ended, and I was right. There is a twist I didn’t see coming and it changes everything.

If you like retellings that go more in depth with the character development, that give characters their own backgrounds and their own internal struggles, definitely read Unhooked. If you like pirate stories, with heroes, villains, magic, and romance, also read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Reviews, YA Paranormal

Book Review: The Power by Jennifer L Armentrout

The Power (Titan)

GoodReads Summary:

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.

Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve.  Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.

But the gods are sensing a greater threat. 

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

My Review:

So, we know this is the follow up to The Return, a spin-off series of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series. In the first book we meet Seth again, the Apollyon, one year after the events of the Covenant Series take place. He is charged with protecting Apollo’s daughter, Josie, a demigod. The second book picks up where he first left off. Josie and Seth are the Covenant University in South Dakota training so that Josie can gain control of her demigod powers.

I was underwhelmed with this book. Maybe my expectations were too high? Or maybe because the characters need to grow, it wasn’t as exciting? I am not totally sure. The writing was still very good. And Seth was still the jackass… nothing changing there. I mean, we even got to see Alex and Aiden, my baes from the Covenant Series. But this book was less about the action and more about the relationships- pure-bloods vs. halfs and the Breeding Order, Josie and Seth, Josie and Apollo. And I guess I wasn’t expecting that; maybe that’s why I am underwhelmed.

I still really enjoyed reading it, but not as much as The Power, or some of Armentrout’s other novels.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Reviews, YA Paranormal

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

My Review:

Truthwitch is such a refreshing read in the YA Fantasy genre. There are a ton of different novels written about witches, but this felt completely original. A witch whose only power is to discern truth from lie. A witch who can smell the blood of a person- specifically what that blood represents. A witch who can see the colorful life threads around her.

The story revolves around a friendship between Safiya and Iseult. I think it’s important to emphasize that because you have a lot of novels that would use a F/M love relationship to drive the plot, but Dennard doesn’t do this. This friendship is everything to these two girls and they would do anything to save the other. And you see this constantly happening throughout the book.

There is also the theme of personal growth and the realization that selfishness can cause a lot more harm than people realize. At the start, Safi is quite a selfish character, only thinking about herself, and Iseult. She doesn’t think about how her actions impact the lives around her- her uncle’s, her teachers, etc. And because of this thought process, Safi and Iseult are launched down a path they never would’ve chosen given the choice.

Merik is a great character and doesn’t put up with Safi’s crap. ❤ Character development over the course of the book is steady and marks the important decisions each character is faced with.

I do think Dennard’s world building could’ve been better. If it weren’t for the map in the front of the book I wouldn’t have understood where all these countries were located in respect to each other. She does give great attention to clothing detail.

Also, I wish there was an index so that I could have the proper pronunciations of the different words Dennard uses, as well as, the definition of them because while in the real world they mean one thing, in this fictitious world they mean something else entirely. But these few items don’t take away from the the story.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Reviews, YA Fantasy, ya romance

Book Review: Winter & The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer

Goodreads summary:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

review:

Since this is a review of the last book in The Lunar Chronicles series. Short reviews for the first three books are first, followed by the review for Winter.

Cinder:

I liked the introduction to the main character Cinder. She does get on my nerves, but her family was so much worse. I love that she is a cyborg. Iko is so feisty. Oh Kai, what a dream boat! I love that she and Kai have a connection right away. Dr. Erland is mysterious. And I kept thinking Konn Torin worked for Queen Lavana.

3 OUT OF 5

SCARLET:

This is my favorite book of the series. I connected to Scarlet on a psychological level. She just wants to find her grand-mere and run her farm. And Wolf- ugh love him. Their chemistry is everything a relationship should be. We get a lot of Scarlet’s point of view, which is a nice break from Cinder. Captain Carswell Thorne- YUMMY! He can be my captain any day. Lots of character growth from all the characters- it was needed immensely. Except Cinder made alllllll the wrong decisions.

5 OUT OF 5

Cress:

I did enjoy Cress but not as much as I enjoyed Scarlet. I figured out who Cress was at the beginning and where she fit in with the group. She annoyed me a lot because all of her experiences were so “oh it’s so beautiful” or she was scared the whole time. I feel that some of the descriptions could’ve been taken out. I skipped some pages of Cress’ because it was too much. We got a lot of reading time with other characters which I loved! Also, how all the characters end up together is just too convenient. Cinder wasn’t as annoying as she was in Scarlet but her decisions, which have annoyed me from the beginning, don’t get any better.

4 OUT OF 5

WINTER:

It. Was. Too. Long. My ebook was 1,169 pages. Hard copy is about 800 pages. And the length wouldn’t bother me so much if there weren’t many scenes that felt unnecessary. I don’t need to be told that Winter is crazy. Over. And over. And over again. Yeah, I get that Levana wants to kill Cinder. How many times do we have to watch her try and fail? The constant dividing and bring back together of Scarlet, Kai, Iko, Wolf, Cinder, Cress, Thorne, Winter, and Jacin was just too much. Also the final scene between Cinder and Levana- it took too long. I was so excited to start this book but by the end I was just like “is this over yet?”. I will concede that there were moments where my heart hurt and I was worried about the love the author created- whether these couples would end up together or if someone would die.

It didn’t end how I pictured it. My ideal ending would have been Scarlet abdicating the throne, Winter getting an implant to help with her Lunar Gift and becoming Queen- the people loved her so much. Cinder would then have gone back to the Commonwealth and married Kai and become Empress. It. Just. Makes. Sense.

I liked Winter but it could have been better. Bright side- everyone get some kind of happy ending.

2.5 OUT OF 5

OVERALL:

It was a different take on Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. I love the futuristic and sci-fi elements. I want to be a cyborg now. I want hover-pods. I want to live on the moon. I want to find an alpha mate like Wolf. Scarlet was my favorite character. She didn’t make stupid decisions like Cinder. She wasn’t afraid all the time like Cress. And she wasn’t crazy like Winter. She was independent and a great leader. She thought about her actions before taking action.

3.5 OUT OF 5

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Book Events, Interviews

Magic and Mayhem Tour with Leigh Bardugo

Written by Liz Brooks

I sit in the front row of a small section of the Ellicott City Barnes and Noble waiting. On the edge of my seat, delighted, nervous, vivacious. This is an event I have been waiting for since I first read Shadow and Bone. The Magic and Mayhem tour with Leigh Bardugo for her newly released book, Six of Crows. She is animated, hilarious, and beautiful. She is gracious and genuine. She meets and exceeds all my expectations.

Leigh Bardugo read two excerpts. One from a book she started when she was 12 years about siblings Blood and Jared. It was amusing to see where Bardugo started and how far she has come. She followed that up with a scene from Six of Crows. One where Nina first meets Matthias- my two favorite characters from.

After the readings, there was a wonderful Q&A.

  1. The easiest character for Bardugo to write was Matthias- he is dogmatic and a drama queen. Whoever she was writing at the time was her favorite or least favorite depending on how you looked at it.
  2. She loved writing her contemporary stories. She liked uncovering secrets where we live.
  3. She has a lot of favorite YA authors- Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater.
  4. Her idea for the Grisha world was Imperial Russia. Russia occupied the role of the great suppressor. Kertch is crafted after the Dutch Republic with a little Las Vegas thrown in.
  5. It took her less than a year to write Shadow and Bone. And she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 35.
  6. She always knew she wanted to come back to the Grishaverse and write a story about a Witch Hunter (Fjerdan) and a Witch (Ravkan). She had ideas about Kaz Brekker but didn’t know where he fit into the story until she came up with the idea for the heist.
  7. She cried when she received Six of Crows in the mail.
  8. The Darkling has a sweet tooth.
  9. She might write a novella about Nikolai one day.
  10. She uses music to help her write. Sinister Kid by the Black Keys is Kaz Brekker’s anthem.
  11. She is currently reading Angela Carter short stories, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and a book about art heists (I wonder why that is).

After the Q&A, she signed books and took photos.

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Quote from Mal in the Grisha series.
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“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
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Cup and Crow tattoo.

Overall it was a fantastic event. My review for Six of Crows can be found here. I can’t wait till Fall 2016 for the follow-up Crooked Kingdom. Check out the book reveal video hereLeigh Bardugo can be found on tumblr, twitter, and facebook.

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