Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes

Series: Spirits and Thieves, #2

Publication:June 28th 2016 by Razorbill

Goodreads description:
In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.

Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for. 

Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down. 

Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession. 

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’sOutlander.

My thoughts:
The Darkest Magic is just as fantastic as book one in the series, A Book of Spirits and Thieves, if not even better. I loved this book so much and enjoyed every minute of reading it!

I really liked how we get Becca's point of view in this book. I really like her so it was fun to be in her head this time around.

Maddox and Barnabas' father-son relationship is explored a lot in The Darkest Magic. It is interesting to see them coming to terms with the fact that they are family.

Farrell- his character development was amazing. He goes even darker and gets more intense. I love how morally grey he is. Like is he a good guy or a bad guy, you don't really know and it's so compelling to read about.

Lots of new characters are introduced in The Darkest Magic. Some I really liked and others I'm not really sure about yet. I loved how when a new character was intoduced I never fully trusted them.I was constantly looking out for someone to betray everyone or something. I was so paranoid while reading that one of these new characters were going to stab us in the back. 

There was so much mystery going on in this book, I loved it. It made me never want to put the book down. There is plot twists left right and centre in this one. So many Oh My God moments.

The ending is crazy. I will leave you begging for the next book. I need book 3 ASAP!

My rating:4.5 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

Publication:June 23rd 2015 by Razorbill

Goodreads description:
Modern-day sisters discover deadly ancient magic in book 1 of this Falling Kingdoms spin-off series!

Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.

Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.

My thoughts:
I loved this book! It was such a fun way for Morgan Rhodes to expand the world she's already created in her Falling Kingdoms series. It was fast paced and full of super engaging characters!

I would recommend reading Falling Kingdoms before reading A Book of Spirits and Thieves as you would have a better understanding of Mythica. There is world building for Mythica in A Book of Spirits and Thieves but I don't think it's enough to fully understand the magic and folklore of the kingdom.

There was an excellent balance between reality and the fantasy world. We follow three different story lines and they are all woven together so well. We follow two in Tronto and one in Mythica. I couldn't decide which one was my favourite. I loved all three and because we flip back and forth between them it makes A Book of Spirits and Thieves such a quick read!

I loved all the characters. I think Crys is my favourite. She's so determined to get answers and get things done! Next is probably Farrell, he's so witty. His and Crys banter back and forth is so much fun to read about. I really liked Becca and Maddox's relationship too. Their friendship!! Just yes!! I loved how Becca really pushes Maddox to be more confident. They really compliment each other nicely.

There is so much twist and turns going on in this book. The plot was crazy- especially near the end. I was shocked/ surprised on multiple occasion!

I'm so excited for the next one! I'll definitely be picking it up!

My Rating:4.5 stars out of 5

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

*Warning this blog post contains spoilers for the first 5 books in the Throne of Glass series (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of  Fire and Queen of Shadows)*

Series: Throne of Glass, #5

Publication:September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury

Goodreads Description:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My thoughts:
This series get better and better with each book. I personally think Empire of Storms is the best book in the Throne of Glass series. Everything is kicked up a notch to the next level. Sarah J. Maas continues to impress me with every book she publishes!

The plot of Empire of Storm was so well paced and full of twists and turns that has me at the edge of my seat at times. At nearly 700 pages I was surprised at how quickly the story flies by. I couldn't put the book down. The action sequences in this book...wow! I had so much fun reading all the sea battles that go down!

There is a lovely bit of world expansion going on in Empire of Storms which I loved. Readers get to visiting lots of places in Erilea. I won't say where- it's kind of a spoiler, but it was so much fun seeing more of the continent.We get to see new places and old- speaking of new and old; readers get to meet new characters and a few familiar faces from the novellas (The Assassin's Blade) show up! 
I definitely think The Assassin's Blade should be read before Empire of Storms- ideally before Queen of Shadows, because people and places from the novellas are a key part of Empire of Storms.

Empire of Storms is told from lots of different persepectives, which I think is a good thing but also a bad thing. There is so many that I feel like we see very little of Aelin. I wanted more of her chapters; it's not that the other POVs are bad- I love a lot of them- I just love Aelin's chapters the most. Elide has a POV which is really interesting, she gets a lot more page time than I was expecting. There was no Chaol, which I was expecting, and it didn't bother me because there was is much other stuff going on.

There is a lovely balance of badass girls and guys. My favourite part of this series is how much strong female characters it has. Aelin and Manon are as amazing as ever but Lysandra really stole the show in Empire of Storms for me.

I loved how much magic is used in this one.  Aelin uses it all the time, exploring what she can do and pushing the limits. Since the release of magic only happened at the end of Queen of Shadows it was fun being able to use magic again.

So Empire of Storms is definitely in the New Adult genre. There is a warning on the back of the book that it contains mature content so it wasn't like ACOMAF where I was shocked/not expecting to read some of the steamier scenes that make it NA. Personally I don't think it was necessary to make Empire of Storms NA; the scenes didn't do anything for the plot (if anything they slowed it down a bit) so you can definitely skip them. I skimmed them and it didn't affect anything really. I was disappointed how much time was spent on these scenes when so much other stuff was going on. They took up unnecessary page time.

Everyone knows a massive part of Throne of Glass is the ships. I was a hard core Celorian/Doraelin shipper earlier in the series and I haven't been the biggest Rowaelin shipper since that started so I'm not really reading this series for the ships anymore regarding Aelin. But I love Lysandra and Aedion so I was so happy to see that they got a good bit of page time in Empire of Storms to develop their relationship. A new ship was introduced and I am not a fan of it. (I won't say who it is because of spoilers), but to me it felt a bit weird. I would have preferred it to stay platonic. In fact there's a few new ships introduced in Empire of Storms and I feel like SJM is just pairing everyone off for the sake of it.

Overall, I loved Empire of Storms and if you have been following the series you should definitely pick it up! I can't believe the next book is the last book in the series! I'm so excited to see what SJM does in it considereing how many directions she can go with the end of Empire of Storms!

My Rating: 5 stars

Thanks for reading,

A :)

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Publication:February 3rd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Goodreads description: 
If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.

Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.

What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.

Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.

My thoughts:
New favourite contemporary. If you're looking for something that has more substance than your usual light fluffy YA contemporary pick up I'l Meet You There.

I'll Meet You There is a slow paced character driven story. And I think it would be pretty hard not to love all the characters. 

The main character, Sky, is not like a lot of YA protagonists. I really liked how she deals with a lot of things that happen in real life but aren't explored that much in YA. She lives in a trailer park, she struggles with money and getting food on the table. She is dealing with a lot. And it makes her feel like a real person, especially when she makes mistakes. She's flawed just like everyone else on this planet. I liked how she dealt with her situation, she wasn't whiny or moaning about how crap her life is, she just gets on with it and tries her best.

I liked Josh too. He has his ups and downs bt for the most part I enjoyed his character. The story opens with him coming home from the war in Afghanistan so he is dealing with PTSD. I think Demetrios explored the subject very well and portrayed a realistic representation of it.

I loved the side characters, especially Sky's best friend Dylan and her boss Marge. All of the side characters are fleshed out really well.

I'll Meet You There is told in duel points of view; Sky and Josh. Demetrios did an excellent job making them have distinct voices, I never got confused how was narrating while reading. I wanted more or Josh though- I felt like his sections were very short but were extremely well written.

I really liked how I'll Meet You There had some very Important themes such as family and poverty but what really makes it stand out is how war and it impact on people is addressed in the story.

I'l Meet You There is a story I won't be forgetting.

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Thanks for reading,
A :) 
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