The Original Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

ginny

For the first time in her life, Ginny Moon has found her “forever home”—a place where she’ll be safe and protected, with a family that will love and nurture her. It’s exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for. So why is this 14-year-old so desperate to get kidnapped by her abusive, drug-addict birth mother, Gloria, and return to a grim existence of hiding under the kitchen sink to avoid the authorities and her mother’s violent boyfriends?

While Ginny is pretty much your average teenager—she plays the flute in the school band, has weekly basketball practice and studies Robert Frost poems for English class—she is autistic. And so what’s important to Ginny includes starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, bacon-pineapple pizza and, most of all, getting back to Gloria so she can take care of her baby doll.

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Disclaimers: We received this book in the form of a physical ARC courtesy of the publisher (Park Row Books) This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

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A Conjuring of Light by V. E Schwab

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Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

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Disclaimers: This review will contain major spoilers and we’re entirely unashamed of that. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: It’s the concluding book in the ADSOM trilogy.

Review: We’ve been absent from book reviewing from a while and so the thoughts surrounding us and the actual idea that we have chosen to get back into the game with this breath taking, soul destroying and in some ways lacking book are daunting.

That’s not to say that we’re not excited to be back and to rip apart our feelings for A Conjuring of Light, we are…it’s just – why did we have to choose this book to be the first one we review after hiatus?

It was obvious to us after only a few pages that Schwab had upped the stakes, upped the ante and with them upped the quality with which she writes with. The opening chapters from A Conjuring of Light come from different points of view, more so than we were accustomed to, but we have no complaints about them. The writing was beautiful. It flowed in black like the power that is Osaron and it wove deep into our mind.

We could see London clearer, see the characters clearer and it was fantastic. We wondered why Schwab didn’t infuse such vividness into A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Magic, we wondered was it because they were building blocks? Because they were…an introduction of sorts into multiples Londons and into the heads of the inhabitants of those Londons?

We wondered for a while before we grasped something. A Conjuring of Light is the only book where we truly appreciated the savagery of White London and the destruction of Black London. Where we appreciated all that is wonderful and wrong in the London that shines red and where we finally felt connected to the London that is much like the one in our own world with its lack of magic and its want for magic.

So, to truly kick off our indepth review we’re going to talk about Holland.

This book made us fall in love with the man who’d died and lived and made himself King by hosting something without conscience. We can truly say that we adore his character so very much now because we got to know him in the same way that we’d gotten to know Lila and Kell and Rhy. We got to see his past, experience his hopes and fears, his accomplishments and his failures.

His journey as a character is something we can appreciate. His actions as a man and his actions as an Antari were clearly defined in this book. To us, Holland is human first and Antari second and we were, by the end of the book not even remotely disappointed when he lost his magic after the battle. We were happy, actually to see him without the thing that had caused him the most pain throughout his life. We were happy and then we were sad to say goodbye.

We were sad to say goodbye to so many of the characters from this series. We’d made homes from them all in our heart, in a beating place inside our chest and to lose the threads of their stories after only three books was almost tear worthy in a way. Everyone and everything was embellished just that little bit more than Schwab probably intended due to our mind and knowing that we possibly won’t see where they travel and who they become over the rest of their lives is hard.

Matters of the heart certainly came to the forefront in A Conjuring of Light. There were the romantic matters and then there were the familial matters. There was Kell and Lila, Alucard and Rhy, Maxim and Emira on the romance front. Interesting how their relationships were so entirely different and then there was the relationship between Kell and Maxim/Emira, the brotherly bond of Rhy and Kell…

It was all too much and too little in some ways.

After hundreds upon hundreds of pages, we are still entirely unsure about the pairing of our dearest Lila and our self-pitying Kell. This book brought the teasing kisses and out of reach romance of the two together and we found ourselves affronted by it. Somewhere before the middle the two had this heart stopping romantic moment, or at least that’s what we think Schwab intended it to be. To us it was awkward and we could have done without it.

We’d have preferred Lila to stay single and Kell to stay…pining after her? It’s cruel, but we really would have liked it.

Alucard and Rhy on the other hand were and are sheer perfection. We enjoyed the fact that A Conjuring of Light allowed us to delve deeper into their history and see what was broken between them. Seeing Alucard out of his mind when Rhy was dying and then when Rhy was dead made it clear to us how much he cared, but not clear to the charismatic prince. Alucard’s devotion and Rhy’s acceptance came the hard way.

Maxim and Emira need only three words for their relationship. Beautiful and Heart-breaking.

Individually, the two were oh so interesting.

Maxim’s reputation as a warrior Prince and a powerful magician in his own right became really obvious as we made our way through the book. His need to protect his people at any cost and protect his family was something that was definitely shown and not told in A Conjuring of Light as we gained access to his own wonderful perspective. And what a heavy one it was.

Maxim really bore the weight of so much and in a completely different way to the way his son did. They both have responsibility being the reigning monarch and the heir to the monarchy respectively, but Maxim’s was so much more active. Although, it became increasingly evident as A Conjuring of Light progressed that Rhy was taking on more and becoming more with his glowing armour and his perception of himself.

Emira’s point of view was thought provoking to say the least, it was just as heavy as Maxim’s, but there was an elegance to her that resonated with us. She gained life and personality in this novel and she showed both her strength and her weakness whether it was with her inability to determine her relationship with Kell or her keen intellect and ability to listen to all the goings on in the castle.

We found her completely and utterly fascinating.

But we found her final moments disappointing. In our mind, she had taken on the shape of someone who would, when it counted forget her fears and show only the strength and capability that her son and husband showed. In reality or rather in this fictional reality created by Schwab she fractured.

We were not impressed.

In the months coming up to the release of ACOL Victoria Schwab was active on twitter in a manner that hyped up everything surrounding this novel, when we saw her say that it was thirty-five percent death we thought she had to be joking.

She wasn’t.

So many delicate walking and talking constructs died that we’re still having a hard time coming to terms with it all. We didn’t like anyone dying and we didn’t like the way that it was mainly people we felt we had come to know. This lady has absolutely no problems killing off her mains and her sides and the faceless beings you’re meant to perceive as people.

We must, of course mention prominent reason why most of these characters we haven’t named died.

Osaron, the magic without humanity or the possession of a soul. We got creepy Voldemort like vibes with his italic styled talk and the fact that it was eerie mind speech. How we’ve gone this long without talking about our beloved villain is beyond us.

What we like most about Osaron, is that he’s not inherently evil. He’s misguided and completely delusional, but surely if you had unmatched power and an unquenchable desire for new things and seeing potential wouldn’t you overlook the human lives you’re ending and then demand more?

No? Just us then.

Being something so powerful, we found the attempts to defeat him to be clever and enjoyable, but his actual defeat seemed to come and have passed without us realising it for more than a few pages. It wasn’t anticlimactic. It was, however, easy to miss for a moment.

There are areas in which we believe A Conjuring of Light failed to deliver and we’re going to list them for you.

  • A brand-new character, who we find intriguing called Nasi was introduced. We imagined her to be the future Queen of White London, but she was there and gone without any resolution. What’s with that Schwab? She’s definitely spinoff potential. We could totally do with a nine-year-old ascending to the throne in White London as it begins to breathe again.
  • We were teased with Kell’s hidden memories and then never got them. Granted he didn’t want them when the opportunity presented itself, but screw his wants. Ours are far more important.
  • The people with silver scars? More on them is needed.
  • The ramifications of the final battle need to be explored. Kell feels pain with his magic. Lila is Antari (we knew from book one that she was), but she doesn’t seem to posess the same level of power as the other two. We would have liked if she’d turned out to be something more unique.

So, to conclude A Conjuring of Light is a book we love dearly, but can’t help pick apart because we’re critical and analytical. It gave us so much that we enjoyed and left us wanting even more which really is a job well done. There were moments that were utterly perfect and we will never hesitate to recommend this book and the trilogy that it’s part of.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING THIS REVIEW! What did you think? Did you like or love A Conjuring of Light? Do you think Schwab is on bored with giving us readers more adventures in the four Londons or maybe just White and Red London with Nasi as the focus eh? Hint hint. Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

Anoshe.

 

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

edge of everything

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of them.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic journey will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

Disclaimer: We received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Bloomsbury)

Why we chose it: Both the cover and the description grabbed us. They were enticing, they were intriguing and so we did a little research on the author. What we liked, we found.

Review: The Edge of Everything has left us conflicted. Our mind is in many factions – somewhere between like, love and minor dislike. The book wasn’t perfect, but we’ll get to that later.

The first thing that struck us is the same thing that we always notice first. Our main character. In The Edge of Everything that main character is Zoe. Her point of view is told in third person which works perfectly – it allows an intimate look at her persona without getting caught up in unnecessary detail the way a lot of books do. Let’s start with how funny she is…..

Damn that girl is hilarious. On numerous occasions at the start of and throughout the novel we laughed out loud. Thankfully there was no one around to offer us weird looks or ask questions that would distract us from reading. We can’t stress how wonderfully Jeff Giles captured an authentic sense of humour that has just enough sarcasm and elements of oddity. Zoe’s thoughts and mannerisms came across as unique to her. She’s not a used up trope or an archetype. You’ll find there are some aspects of her character that are flawed (genuinely flawed) but we won’t mention what they are just yet.

After the original sense of giddiness that overtook us we hit that point in a book where you wonder “Are we getting too much information, too soon?” It’s not necessarily the author’s fault – they’ve got a whole world with a cast of characters and a backstory to introduce us to. They’ve got to do it quickly and coherently so we don’t start asking questions later on like “When were we told the colour of Zoe’s eyes?” or “What was Zoe’s relationship with her Dad?” For a moment Jeff Giles managed to annoy us in the way he wrote it (an almost flashback scene that we usually have a thing against)

After a small break we continued on, but it wasn’t long before we hit another snag that had us truly contemplating never reading another word from this book again.

In an event (that we won’t disclose any details on besides what’s given in the description) Zoe meets a guy she’ll come to call X. Jonah, Zoe’s brother meets him too, but Jonah isn’t what’s of importance right now. What’s important is that we feel the connection between Zoe and X is almost immediately too strong despite the event with undisclosed details mentioned above. To us, as readers and reviewers it’s okay for two characters to instantly have a connection. A weak one and maybe even a moderately strong connection, just enough to build on. It felt like what was between X and Zoe had already been built on prior to their meeting which seemed very odd to us…..

We even had to re-read a few pages repeatedly to see if there’d been some sort of time jump we’d skimmed over or something that could explain it to us. We couldn’t and then as our frustration built so did a headache which caused us to stop reading, take a drink and think.

Could we overlook what’s almost like instalove, but isn’t? Could we read on knowing that from this point on a book that had started out promising despite a little flaw could turn into a full on disaster? It was surprising really that we could. We simply liked Zoe in a singular way that allowed us to.

X himself is an interesting character away from Zoe for us. His life…..life is an exaggeration, but we lack a better word and the type of magic depicted are borderline fascinating. We also liked the characters who came along with him as his story thread was woven in. Ripper and Banger, as well as others proved entertaining. They were more than just secondary characters there to fill a role. They added heart and emotion in a similar way that the other character of Zoe’s life such as her brother (we mentioned him briefly earlier) and her best friend Val.

In particular though, there’s something about children characters that we can’t help, but adore when done right. Jeff Giles definitely does it right in The Edge of Everything. Jonah is beyond perfect including his ADHD, he’s so wondrous and loving that if at any point during our read or in the future we discover a way to spirit him off the page and into our life then we will do so. His interactions with the world and his uniqueness made him easy to fall in love with. For everyone to fall in love with. Zoe of course being the older sibling could be at times impatient with him. On occasion she acted wrongly towards him and that made us want to act in a way that resembles violence toward her.

(We don’t condone violence towards characters in books. It’s unlikely to end well, but Jeff Giles seems to have a thing for weaving emotion)

The plot of the book itself isn’t all that unique if we’re honest and we’re always honest when it comes to books. A girl and indeed a family coming to grips with the loss of a father and a bounty hunter forbidden to reveal anything to said girl. It’s pretty generic right? Especially the fact that he breaks all the rules for this one girl. X breaks all the rules for Zoe and together the two of them discover what fate has in store and what the future may hold.

Blah, blah, blah.

What spices this book up and makes it not all about the forbidden couple is that it actually takes the time and the words to show you how the girl comes to grips with the loss of her father. How she tries to come to grips with the loss of her father. It shows how breaking the rules has consequences, but that these consequences are limited to those members central to the crime. Not the world. This isn’t a save the world book. It isn’t even a book that shoves insane Ripper and hilarious Val to the sidelines because there’s a muscly boy on the loose.

It’s a book that manages to tell a story and not the remnants of one.

As we neared the end of the book there were some twists and turns that we didn’t see coming. At all. Our theories on what was going to happen didn’t pan out….well, one did, but you don’t need to know that. When the book ended, we were satisfied with the ending. It didn’t feel rushed and it didn’t have a false happy ending to please the reading public. It was honest to the story being told and we appreciated that.

To conclude, while The Edge of Everywhere has some problems they’re not too big and can be overlooked. In terms of those factions we stated at the very start of this review, we’ve found a home for our opinions on this book. It’s a book that we almost love, but can’t truly. At least not yet. It’s possible that in the future after some re-reads we will indeed love it because the book certainly has the potential to be loved due to the writing style and as always the characters who can make or break anything.

AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR READING! Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

A Collection of Unfinished Books.

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Overall disclaimer: These reviews are shorter than what we usually write.

It’s true. There have been more than a few books that we haven’t finished lately and we were hesitant to review them because we don’t really like leaving a book unfinished and then writing up our thoughts on them without all the information. It feels like cheating, bur we’ve come up with a solution!

We’re going to put all the books we did not finish into one post and have a collection of mini reviews because that way we feel less guilty and our post doesn’t look embarrassingly short.

Our genius never fails to amaze us.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

haven

Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen.

Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.

With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.

As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Friesen Press). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: It sounded fun.

Review: The writing was really a problem for us in Haven. It was such a problem that we stopped well before fifty percent. In fact, we only managed a few chapters before we gave up and it still gets to us how wrong everything felt. We thought we might teeter of the edge of a cliff if it were to get any worse. Characters felt as if they’d simply been thrown together without any regard for the chemistry, whether platonic or romantic that should be between them. We couldn’t stand it.

Our main character, Haven, is immortal in the sense that neither injury or disease can take her life. Chop off her head and it would probably grow back. Shoot an arrow right through her chest and she’d be fine in moments. We thought, because it was written that way that Haven’s immortality was common knowledge. It felt like everyone knew about it, but then it seemed at an early point in the book as if it wasn’t?

The arrow we mentioned was shot at Haven in an assassination attempt and the reactions people had to it were over exaggerated. Protect the Queen. Protect the Queen. No one batted an eyelid when she healed up. Hello, Queen’s Guard. You’ll all die before she does. Our eyes figuratively rolled out of our head.

It all made no sense and you all know how very much we hate things not making sense.

We completely understand now why some people abstain from period novels no matter what the genre is. Up until the book dialogue written in novel not set in a modern time didn’t bother us. It never felt stilted or stupid or forced…the dialogue in Haven felt forced. Things were said and then basically said again. It was frustrating.

We feel like there’s a slight possibility that the execution of the plot could have redeemed this novel if the writing hadn’t been so annoying, but saying that is grasping at straws. This book is very similar to the many fantasy books that already exist out in the world. Better fantasy books. It’s unfortunate because we really wanted to enjoy Haven.

To conclude, Haven was just not something we could get behind and though we feel bad about writing a negative review, it is honesty that is required of us and it is honesty that we give. This book might very well be the next best thing for some people, but for us it is something we simply couldn’t get behind.

burning-bright

In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in over one hundred years.

As an Extraordinary, she is respected and feared, but to her father, she represents power and prestige for himself. Mr. Pembroke, having spent his life studying magic, is determined to control Elinor and her talent by forcing her to marry where he chooses, a marriage that will produce even more powerful offspring. Trapped between the choices of a loveless marriage or living penniless and dependent on her parents, Elinor takes a third path: she defies tradition and society to join the Royal Navy.

Assigned to serve under Captain Miles Ramsay aboard the frigate Athena, she turns her fiery talent on England’s enemies, French privateers and vicious pirates preying on English ships in the Caribbean. At first feared by her shipmates, a growing number of victories make her truly part of Athena’s crew and bring her joy in her fire. But as her power grows and changes in unexpected ways, Elinor’s ability to control it is challenged. She may have the power to destroy her enemies utterly—but could it be at the cost of her own life?

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received a copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Curiosity Quills Press). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: This cover is so pleasing in a way.

Review: There’s nothing truly awful about Burning Bright, but there are a few problems and there’s one main reason why we stopped reading before the end. We grew bored with this book because we felt like we’d read it before. Young girl defies predominantly male society. Young girl has magic (granted magic is a common enough thing in the world of Burning Bright). Young girl is the only one with the power to save the world. Young girl has trouble controlling it, but really gains control far too quickly.

HELLO SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE!

The young girl is Elinor and she bored us. Her character really wasn’t very interesting and things that were exciting or anxiety inducing to her had zero affect on us. Elinor’s defiance of her father and decision to join the navy came across as…dull and we have a problem with that.

Elinor is an Extraordinary and she is the only one who has the ability to wield fire in England for over a century. We thought that the discovery of her powers would have more repercussions than it actually did. There was no real big ripple to the unveiling of her fire power and that leads us to another problem.

The magic system in this book felt hastily explained. We were introduced the elemental magics and non-elemental magics and everything, including Elinor’s own magic was subsequently glossed over. It made for not so good world-building.

One thing we hate in books is when the main character makes epic declarations about their faith and destiny when they’ve done absolutely nothing to support their pretty words. There is no backing in character development, story arcs, or anything that makes us feel what the character says is actually viable. We don’t understand why it’s done and we couldn’t understand why the author had Elinor do it.

In conclusion it seems we had more issues with Burning Bright that we previously believed and feel that while we may not have discussed them in an in depth manner, we have done enough to portray our feelings towards the book.

WELL THIS WAS INTERESTING. This post is probably the longest one we’ve written to date and it feels nice getting these two reviews out of the way because we think if we were to stew on them, we’d end up wondering how the books ever got published.

Thank you for reading! Did you like how we wrote this post? Have you read any of the books we’ve mentioned? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

 

 

 

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

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Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

Goodreads

Disclaimer: This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

midnight

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Goodreads

Disclaimer: This review may contain some things you view as spoilers for both the book in question and its predecessors. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: The Young Elites was good and The Rose Society was even better.

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

steal 2

Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave …
She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate …

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The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

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An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

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Rating the Throne of Glass series so far…

 

r-1Diclaimer: This fun little post has some spoilers for the first five books in the ToG series. You have been warned. There was a problem with the original post so we’re re-posting.

Our review of Empire of Storms isn’t ready yet, so we’ve decided to do something different and we think it’ll be fun. We’re going to rate the Throne of Glass novels excluding The Assasin’s Blade novella collection because that’s a bind up of more than one story and honestly it would have to be done in another post on another day..

Are you ready? Let’s go.

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To All The Books We Read Last Month

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To all the books we read last month we’ve got to admit that we’re really grateful because August was an upside-down month for us that had some glorious moments in the most unexpected places.

Last month because it’s now officially September even if only by a small margin we wrote eight blog posts. Seven of which were book reviews and one was an interview with the lovely @angelspearlreads who’s blog you can check out here. At the end of this post you’ll be able to find a collection of links to all our posts, but first…

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To All The Books We Read Last Month

to-all-the-books

 

Disclaimer: We are not working with or affiliated with any of the book purchasing companies we have left links to below. We have not been asked by the publishers to give you these links either. 

On July 03 2016 the creator of Arkon and Annie, the one behind our dual voice wrote the first post for this blog. It was title Hello! We didn’t think that after this post we would join NetGalley and end up being approved for a total of eleven books despite how fresh we were and still are to the book blogging world.

It was shocking and amazing and we’ve many publishers to thank, many viewers as well, but first…..To all the books we read last month, Thank You!

Even though we’ve had mixed reactions to some of them it was absolutely amazing having the opportunity to explore new worlds and characters. Some we loved. Some we didn’t. Some with were set in worlds of magic and angels. Others in settings on our Earth that were far more familiar, but still fiction to us.

It’s been a brilliant first month in the book blogging world, but enough with an introduction. Let’s dive into the books we read this month.


The first book we were approved for on NetGalley is Everything Love Is by Claire King. It’s a slow burn, but a novel filled with wonderful writing ans storytelling. You can find our review of it here . It’s a standalone novel published by Bloomsbury on July 28 2016 and we feel so lucky to have read and reviewed it before the publication date.

everything

Isn’t the cover just gorgeous? You’ll be able to find links to places where you can buy it in our review, but if you simply want to go straight ahead to them Everything Love Is can be purchased on AmazonBarnes and Noble or The Book Depository .You can also find it on Goodreads here to see what others thought.


The next book we got from NetGalley was We Awaken by Calista Lynne. Even though we didn’t really like it, it’s quite possible some of you will. You find our review of it here. It was published by Harmony Ink Press on July 14 2016.

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Once again another beautiful cover. This book can also be purchased on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. You can also find it on Goodreads here to see what others thought.


After only mentioning two books we can already tell this is going to be a long post to write and format and find links for. We’re not complaining though. We read more a nice amount of books this month. Who can complain about that?


The third book and one we were surprised to find we enjoyed is City of Shadows by Pippa DaCosta. It’s important to note that it’s the second book in the London Fae series so you’d obviously have to read the first book first…..something we didn’t do. However if you have read the first book or are simply curious as to what we thought you can find our review here.  The book was published by Bloomsbury Spark an imprint of Bloomsbury on July 07 2016.

city of shadows

While we coulnd’t find this book on The Book Depository we found it on Amazon or Barnes of Noble.


Another book by Bloomsbury now and this one is The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles. We believe it’s his first book for young adults and it was a decent first venture. Now the book doesn’t actually come out until February 09 2017 so you can imagine how happy we are to have read it so early. Our review will be up on February 02 2017 so if you want to come back then…please do 🙂

edge of everything

 

The people over at Bloomsbury make such wonderful covers don’t you think? You can pre-order the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. You can also add it to your to-read shelf here.

Note: The publication date differs depending on the site.


We received The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras from St. Martin’s Press and while we had issues with it we have a review ready to be posted a week before the book’s publication on Novemeber 01 2016.
best possible

You can pre-order this on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository and check out Goodreads.


The seventh book we received was Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith. We really liked the idea of a more modern book about angels set in a fantasy/dystopian world. Today is actually the book’s publication day and you can find our review of it here. It’s published by Switch Press who we’re going to have to have a closer look at. See what else they publish.

children of icarus

You can buy this book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. You can also check it out on Goodreads to see what other people are saying here.


This is the last book we got from Bloomsbury this month and it was another one that surprised us. Danielle Paige wasn’t an author who we thought we’d ever like after her Wizard of Oz inspired series, but we’re looking forward to more of her work and our review of Stealing Snow will be published a week before the book’s release on October 06 2016.

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You can pre-order the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. And as we’ve said….six times before you can find out what people are saying on Goodreads here.


Holding Up The Universe is one of the best reads from this month..possibly in the top ten of the year and it’s likely that in the coming months it’ll still be up there. It was so much fun writing our review because it was full of emotion

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All lover of All The Bright Places go pre-order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository because you know how good Jennifer Niven is. Alternatively if you haven’t read All The Bright Places by this wonderful lady check out Holding Up The Universe on Goodreads here.


This book wasn’t what we hoped it would be. It ended up being more middle grade and for some reason we haven’t posted our review on here….whoops.

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If you want you can go buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. Make sure to check out Goodreads though so you know what you’re in for.


We read only a few books this month not given to us by NetGalley and one of those is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. We’re not entirely sure of when it came out, but we’ve recently reviewed it and absolutely loved it.

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If you loved the Grisha trilogy or even just like the idea of this wonderful fantasy book then you can buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. We highly recommend that you do.

Goodreads


This book. This Savage Song was so utterly amazing. Emotions and monsters, V. E. Schwab is a wicked genius. We said here how her characters are the driving force and so there’s so many good things in her books

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Go buy her book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. Also check Goodreads here to see what everyone thinks.!


PHEW! This was a fun post to write, but difficult because we wanted to provide multiple links for everything.We’re quite happy we’ve done it. We really enjoyed going back over what we read in July. We were actually surprised with the amount of books we read. It felt like far less.

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

 

 

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first

Goodreads

Disclaimer: There may be some things you consider spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: Six of Crows got a lot of attention when it came out and it still getting a lot of attention. The reviews were mostly positive so we thought we’d give it a go.

Review: Six of Crows is very much a character driven novel with incredible world building. Granted, the author has already had three books to build this world, but where we though The Grisha Trilogy was a little sparse in actually seeing the world Leigh Bardugo has created – Six of Crows does it wonderfully.

Inej

The first character we meet is Inej. She’s a wraith. You won’t hear her or see her, but she could be standing right beside you. Her skills as a gymnast, specifically climbing (something she does a great deal of in this book) are renowned in the sordid corner of the world which she lives in.

We liked a lot of things about Inej, her point of view was most definitely one of them. Even though it’s done in third person you can practically hear her talking and we loved it. Another thing we liked about Inej was the way in which she interacts with people. She can come across as a fierce individual, but when you’re reading her chapters you know there’s fear and hope and need inside her.

The three people Inej interacted with most in the novel are Kaz, Nina and Jesper. She has a complicated relationship with Kaz from the very beginning and it only became more complicated as we progressed. There’s a chemistry between the two that felt natural and intoxicating. It was almost a slow burning romance, but not quite.

Inej also contributes a lot to the world building in Six of Crows with her backstory –  everything that happened before the time this book is set in. It was really interesting to see the double standards from her experiences

Nina

Nina is also a character who shows the double standards existing in the world. She’s a Heartrender which means she’s a Grisha. She’s naturally powerful and as a Grisha she’s meant to only grow stronger, but due to circumstances that you learn about going forward she’s not as powerful as one would think.

Both in terms of magic and emotions. For being born what she is there’s an entire nation which hates her. Wants to harm her and it was refreshing to see in Six of Crows how it’s not only skin colour that makes you a target. Racism of many forms is shown and it’s not glossed over. Leigh Bardugo wrote some great scenes that were raw and emotionally driven.

Nina’s chapters were our favourite and the way in which her and Matthias’s relationship developed-especially considering the history between the was slow and teasing and sometimes we honestly believed it wasn’t going to go the way we hoped it would. It was quite tense and thrilling.

Matthias

Matthias is part of that nation that despises people like Nina. He comes from a cold people, who aren’t as we come to see as good as he believed them to be. We liked his chapters too, especially considering how Nina driven they were. It was so wonderful!

It’s important to note at this point however that Matthias wasn’t written in as a simple love interest. He’s a genuine character and there’s a lot of development to be seen from him. He questions his beliefs, his feelings…everything he has ever known because he’s a good person. A good person who struggles.

Matthias being a Fjerdan soldier is a man of faith. He believes in a god. We found it very intriguing to read about a form of religion in the Grisha world and it’s only though Matthias that we’re able to do that. Without we think we would have been missing something from Six of Crows and we can’t wait to see how things change for him in Crooked Kingdom.

Jesper

Jesper is a screwed up gem who we love and adore and we almost have no words when we think of him. There’s so many possible angles you can view him from and having finished Six of Crows a few weeks ago we’ve come to view him in many lights. For this post however we’re going to try streamline it….

Jesper is an eternally hopeful/desperate sharpshooter who gambles far too often. He’s not very good at it, but he’s an addict. He needs to gamble, he has to do it. He brings so much as a character- he’s hilarious! We cracked up so many times from some of the things he said. He also has a wonderful connection with Wylan who’ll we get to in a moment.

In terms of the world however we learned that addiction is a very big thing in Six of Crows. In fact one could say addiction is a key theme to this book and with Jesper we get to see that not all addicts want to be addicted or come across as the fading characters one would expeect.

Wylan

Wylan Van Eck, he’d be a minor character used for plot purposes only if it wasn’t for the fact he’s an adorable young man trying to find his way in the world free of his father. The fact that his father is a powerful man makes it much harder too.

Throughout the book Wylan grew on us. We love how his connection with  Jesper developed and the two of them are right up there with Nina and Matthias. We could rave about him for days, but we want to focus on something very important his character thought us.

In Ketterdam there’s a lot of corruption and there’s a lot of poor people, who become desperate people willing to do anything until there desperate people have a dirty sort of power. They wield influence and naturally despise those born into privilege. Wylan was of course born into privilege and there’s some negativity thrown his way because of that, but his character showed us that coming from money is not always a good thing.

Wealth can hide a multitude of faults and sometimes is the poor who are lucky.

Kaz

Finally we get to Kaz. He’s the criminal prodigy and the leader of this book. He comes across as aloof sometimes and honestly he can be a complete asshole. We loved him though….mostly. He has his reasons for doing the things he does and it’s likely that he’s the most flawed character in this entire book.

Kaz is a guy who wears gloves, he never makes skin contact with people because it makes him want to get physically sick. We wont tell you why he’s that way. That’s something you need to find out on your own, but we will tell you that Leigh Bardugo writes his issues beautifully.

She shows how he struggles with them at times simply because it’s necessary to get the job done and that if he didn’t push himself he wouldn’t get what he wants. He’s an extremely determined and ruthless character with brain power to spare.The only thing that annoyed us about him was his relationship with Inej.

For the most part we loved it. Through their interactions and developing connection we saw that he really can only push himself so far. Some of issues are so deeply ingrained, we don’t know if he’ll manage to overcome them in the next novel. We’re not even sure if we want him to…..

Now the thing that annoyed us was his sudden emotional shift to Inej before everything else at the end of the book. It was the only part of the entire novel that felt slightly forced to us.

What we learned about the world through Kaz is that not everyone who has hopes and dreams succeed and sometimes the innocent must become the sinning in order to thrive.

Conclusion

There’s a lot more twists and turns and revelations throughout Six of Crows than we’ve mentioned here and all of them felt so real. We were genuinely shocked about some of them.

We said at the start that Six of Crow is a character driven novel and it is so that’s how we discussed. We feel like the plot only originated because of the genuine characters created by Leigh Bardugo. We think everyone should check this book out even if like us you thought the Grisha Trilogy was just okay.

Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.