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Category: Book Reviews

Every Thursday, you’ll find a new book review here. On the last Thursday of every month, I also review a book on writing in addition to a novel to help you grow!

Review: EVO Ghost by K. J. Chapman (EVO Nation Series #3) (ARC)

“Her name is both feared and revered.
Her name is that of a ghost.
Her name is Teddie Leason, and she’s back from the dead.

Teddie never agreed with Woodman’s hare-brained declaration of war that cost the lives of those dear to her, but now, she is the main participant in forwarding what he started. There is no turning back, the war has to play out, and she must end the oppression of her kind. EVO are at the mercy of a man with outdated ideas and the power to wield them. Britain will be reshaped forever unless enemies become allies and sacrifices are made.

Becoming the ‘Face of the Rebellion’ is bitter sweet, with the potential for justice, but also a weight she struggles to shoulder. The fight has never been more important, and EVO have never been more at risk. They will follow where she leads. Does Teddie have the strength to bear that responsibility?”

What I thought:

I’ve been following this author from Book 1 and was ecstatic when my ARC arrived in my inbox! Book 2, EVO Shift, ended with a bang (literally!), and I couldn’t wait to find out how things continued from there.

Things start in a terrible place. Teddie is alive, but her friends–including Adam–think she’s dead, and Teds is in no position to tell them that she’s fine. It was easy to sympathise, both with Teddie and her friends, even though we don’t get their POVs. Imagine the emotional strain!

“[…] This is no longer the beginning of the end, Cub. This is the final chapter. I can sense it.”

I loved the main guys in charge, Rafe (who we already knew) and Fernan (a new addition later in the book). They’re tough, they look out for their groups, and they’re hell-bent on winning this war no matter the cost–which may sound harsh, but remember there’s a war going on. Teddie disagrees with many of their decisions–

which, I’ve got to admit, annoyed me more than a little. I don’t mind the main character disagreeing or even making decisions I wouldn’t, but Teddie lost sight of the bigger picture a lot. I get that she was frustrated with being told to sit and wait while the war was fought in her name, but I don’t think that’s an excuse to insist they risk everyone they’re supposed to protect just so Teddie can join the fight more actively. Sometimes the right decisions are the hardest but necessary all the same; Rafe and Fernan understood that. Teddie didn’t. She acted a bit like a spoiled child at times when the leaders wouldn’t fall over themselves to do what Teddie wanted because they have people to protect.

Don’t take this as negative criticism on the writing, though. As all writers will know, our characters have their own minds, and I know Chapman struggled with some of Teddie’s decisions herself. That she went through with them anyway is a credit to Chapman, not a negative comment. It’s Teddie I had a problem with, not the writing.

It was great to see just how far everyone’s come, ESPECIALLY MY GIRL YANA. Yana kicks butt :3 The link between Adam and Teddie developed further, too, and it was exciting to see them take it to new heights (again, literally!).

No one pays their leaders any heed. The chaos is nothing but an excuse for hundreds of people to relieve their stress by punching and kicking the crap out of each other.

And speaking of characters… There was a really lovely reunion, which could have gone either way but Teddie put her big-girl pants on and did the mature thing. No spoilers, though 😉

It was a bit slow and repetitive in places, but I couldn’t really put my finger on the former until I was about 73% through–everything went just a little too smoothly for me. I wanted more to go wrong. I know Chapman as an author who throws all of the plot twists at you, but most of this book went in the good guys’ favour.

And I hope I don’t sound too evil when I say I expected more people to die! 😛

This was a great finale to the series. The last ten percent really had a kick to them, and once again one of Chapman’s books ended in a surprising way. There’s a brief glimpse into Teddie’s close future, too, and I think it’s fair to say that all’s well that ends well <3

EVO Ghost is out March 1st, but you can already pre-order it now!


Have you read EVO Nation, or are you tempted? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

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Review: Westwick College by Liz Meldon (Lovers and Liars #3)

“Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and lust, is so done with taking cases in Nowheresville towns. She thought partnering up with Loki to fight supernatural baddies meant excitement, drama, and exotic adventures. So far, the sleepy town of Westwick in rural Idaho isn’t quite meeting her expectations. Still, spending day in and day out with the Norse god of lies and trickery adds more than a little spice to life. And she’d rather be with another god, bored, than all by her lonesome again.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is trying—and failing—to come to terms with the fact that his powers aren’t returning as fast as he’d hoped, even with all his freshly acquired followers. When an academic from his past implores him to help battle a magical presence at Westwick College, he puts his mounting frustrations aside in order to help a friend, dragging his gorgeous, albeit occasionally moody, love goddess along for the ride.

Magic has descended on Westwick College in Idaho, holding its students hostage by creating bouts of sickness and eerie bumps in the library stacks when night falls. While Loki believes it will be a simple fix, Aphrodite, having learned from her time with vampires in Vancouver, braces herself for a tough road ahead.

And as if that isn’t enough, something—someone—is watching Aphrodite’s each and every step. Biding their time. Waiting for the right moment to strike.”

What I thought:

I’m not sure if it’s because I started this right after Vancouver, but my first thoughts weren’t ‘wow, this book is awesome!’ but ‘Wow, Westwick sounds lovely, I should go!’ I’m definitely more attracted to the calm, rural setting than poor Aphrodite, who threw a small fit over still not being at a beach.

That’s not to say, however, that this wasn’t good, because it was awesome.

He tried–really tried. He would never admit to anyone just how fucking hard he tried to change.

But when he opened his eyes and looked down at his hands, he was greeted with more of the same. Human hands, human nails. No fur. No claws. Not even a hint of thickened skin.

Despite the new sacrifices both gods gained in Vancouver, Loki struggles to regain his powers–while Aphrodite uses hers rather easily much to Loki’s annoyance. Even so, their affection for each other grows in this book, and it was really sweet to watch them get closer on a personal level rather than just a sexual one.

Their newest case sounds simple enough, but everything goes to shit before either realise what they’ve walked into. Things escalate fast, and both gods are robbed of their most loved powers (if you thought Aphrodite threw incredible fits before, you should see her without that gloss in her hair!).

Honestly, I couldn’t see how they’d get out of this one. Meldon is good with building tension, and there was plenty of that.

For all her irritating habits, the Grecian love goddess didn’t deserve to feel genuinely unsafe in his presence. He’d never do that to her, no matter how badly he wanted to burn the world.

Westwick College is the longest book in this series so far. It has the smallest amount of smut but the highest level of risk as Aphrodite fights to get them out of the shithole they’ve walked into (meaning the case as well as Westwick–she’s really not impressed with the lack of ocean and heat)

Loki and Aphrodite make a great pair. A small part of me was disappointed that there wasn’t more sex (not sure what this says about me… let’s not dwell on it, shall we?) since the series started as an erotic romance, but a much larger part of me is excited to see what’s next. I’m not sure if Book 4 is being written, but I’m looking forward to Tuskin Island all the same.


Have you read Westwick College, or are you tempted? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

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Review: Vancouver by Liz Meldon (Lovers and Liars #2)

“Aphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn’t expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn’t exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn’t thought taking on a beautiful partner would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.

Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.”

What I thought:

I read the first book in this series last year (I think? It may be even longer ago than that. Gawd, I suck at reading), so I figured it was about time I read the rest! I’m still struggling to fill every week with reviews right now, but Meldon’s novellas are short enough to fill the gaps while I read longer things <3

And, obviously, I read them for fun, too. Like my shaking tower of unread books allows anything else *laughs nervously*

I always love the banter in Meldon’s books, and these two main characters are especially excellent at it. Because two powerful beings are in charge of this series–Loki and Aphrodite–it was inevitable that their strong personalities would clash at some point. That point is this book, friends.

Loki is focused on the job and the job only, whereas Aphrodite sees the love between their targets. They’re both stubborn mules, so you can imagine how well that went down.

And that’s before everything escalates.

“You should be frightened,” the vampire murmured. His tongue flicked out before running over his sharp canines. “You’re mine now.”

Book 1, Manhatten, was all about the love and passion between Loki and Aphrodite. Vancouver isn’t as steamy and more focused on story than smut, but there are still some detailed scenes which aren’t suitable for younger readers. So, while I’m going to recommend the hell out of this series, please be aware of the graphic sexual content in Meldon’s books.


Have you read Vancouver, or are you tempted? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

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Review: The Light Over Broken Tide by Holly Ducarte (ARC)

“Out of the blue, Rebecca Stafford’s Father arrives to parent her after years of absence. He then extracts her last bit of normalcy by moving them to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The shocking news plunges Rebecca into a despair that brings about an otherworldly encounter; she begins to have visions of her deceased Mom.

Uncertain whether what she sees is reality or the product of a troubled mind, Rebecca searches for an anchor to keep her from drifting in the new coastal town. She clings to Shawn, the eccentric, spritely boy-next-door promising adventures…with surprises of his own, involving an Irish legend and a hidden lighthouse. This brings on a whole new dimension to Rebecca’s visions, and sparks feverish romance between her and Shawn. A bond eventually threatened by forces beyond her control, sending her spiralling into dark, stormy places, leaving her to wonder how broken a mind can get.”

 What I thought:

You know it’s going to be a good year when it’s only January but you already have a new favourite author <3 I usually give new authors at least two books before deciding whether they’re worthy of my insta-buy list or not, but Ducarte did it in one. If you’re thinking about self-publishing your debut novel this year, read this novel because this girl rocked it!

I love a main character I can connect with on a deep personal level, and Becky was that. I saw myself in her so much in so many ways (just, she’s a great swimmer whereas I sink), which made this book quite personal for me and made it even easier to enjoy.

“I’ve always wanted magic to exist.”

“A girl after my own heart,” Shawn said. “But what if it does?”

Speaking of Ducarte getting personal–depression and schizophrenia are not easy subjects to tackle, and harder to do well. Ducarte smashed it. She did it so beautifully I was worried Shawn wasn’t real (not saying he’s not, either–no spoilers here!). The issues in this book–psychological and otherwise– were so real it hit home big time.

This was really hard to put down for me. I always looked forward to coming back to it, and Ducarte’s voice is a big part of that. It’s melodic and lovely, and even poetic in places.

The banter was another strong point. I loved listening to the characters talk and argue, especially between Becky and Shawn & Becky and her father. Some of those conversations were the most realistic ones I’ve ever read. Ducarte dug deep into the human mind and why we do what we do, even when we know it’s wrong and when we really want to but are too scared to move forward.

We’re all like paper dolls. Happiest when linked to another, often unaware of our flimsiness. So easily torn. What happens when we reach out to find there’s no one there to hold our hand?

How is that for an opening? #dies

I loved Becky and Shawn so much, and I’m heartbroken with how it ended. HEARTBROKEN

So, yes, this was excellent and YES, I recommend it. It’s out in March and I urge you to add it to your tbr lists and snatch a copy!


Have I tempted you? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

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Review: Editing Made Easy by Bruce Kaplan

“Have you ever wondered: How to make your writing more exciting, more punchy and more accurate? Why your sentences sometimes do not make sense? What people mean when they complain about split infinitives? This title answers these questions.”

What I thought:

This’ll be a quick little review for a quick little book!

Editing Made Easy actually makes editing easy. It doesn’t waffle (note to self: don’t review books when hungry) and gets straight to the point, each of which is only one page long, two at most. If you want a no-nonsense approach to proofreading, here you go!

It covers all the basics you need to know, and gives examples in case you’re not sure about any of the issues covered.

Because it’s so short (I’ve read novellas longer than this book) it’s easy to come back to if you ever need to look anything up as you edit. AND it takes up no space on your shelf! You can totally slide this between two hardbacks and you’d probably lose it that way, actually, don’t do that. But it is tiny, so not having any more room on your shelf is no excuse here.

There’s a checklist at the end so you can work your way through when you edit. Kaplan couldn’t make it easier!

It won’t help much with developmental edits or line edits, however. It focuses on the proofread, and it’s an excellent companion for that.

If you hate proofreading your own book or struggle with any part of that process, this is an easy recommendation (and a smol addition to your shelf).


What’s on your on-writing tbr? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: Once Upon a Curse by Yasmine Galenorn, Alethea Kontis, Annie Bellet, and 8 Others (Anthology)

“Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Todaybestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumplestilstskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.
Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.

YARROW, STURDY AND BRIGHT by Devon Monk – Sweet music cannot hide a wicked heart…

FAE HORSE by Anthea Sharp – Faerie bargains can grant any desire, but be careful what you wish for.

THE QUEEN OF FROST AND DARKNESS by Christine Pope – Her heart is the only thing colder than a Russian winter….

BONES by Yasmine Galenorn – Sometimes, your most cherished dream can turn out to be a nightmare.

MAGIC AFTER MIDNIGHT by C. Gockel – The Wicked Stepmother is about to meet her match…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Donna Augustine – When the devil makes a deal with a dancer, he gets more than he bargained for.

NO GIFT OF WORDS by Annie Bellet – Never steal from a witch…

THE GRIM BROTHER by Audrey Faye – Not all walks in the wood end well…

BEAUTY INSIDE BEAST by Danielle Monsch – Happily Ever After ain’t guaranteed when Once Upon a Time is here.

FAESCORNED by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson – The Morrigan, Celtic goddess of war and strife, must relive a painful memory that reminds her of what she can never have.

DRAWN TO THE BRINK by Tara Maya – Sajiana’s job is to hunt down monsters brought alive from paintings. She never expected to meet one so handsome… or to need his help.

THE VARIANCE COURT by Alexia Purdy – Anna, a struggling college student, discovers a mysterious ring that turns her quiet life chaotic when the ring’s magic doesn’t do what it’s told.

THE MORRIGAN by Phaedra Weldon – A young man discovers he has leprechaun blood – and is wanted by dark faerie forces.

ALICE by Julia Crane – A twisted tale of Alice and Wonderland. Facing madness and an ominous prophecy, Alice chooses to follow her heart despite knowing her world is about to change forever.

STILL RED by Sabrina Locke – When the Hunters come, can there be any escape?

THE FINAL STRAW by Jennifer Blackstream – To banish a gold-spinning demon, first you must guess his name…

THE UNICORN HUNTER by Alethea Kontis – Only Snow White knows what really happened in the forest…”

What I thought:

Woop woop, friends and familiars! It’s time for the first review of the year! 😀

I wish my bookish year was off to a better start than the three stars I gave this on Goodreads. As is often the case with anthologies, I liked some of these shorts a lot more than others. I don’t know how this is usually handled with anthologies, but it didn’t feel like the whole book was edited by one editor. I’d really enjoy one story, and then the next one would have spelling mistakes, missing words, and other grammar issues. Given that the whole book was advertised as having been written by bestselling authors, I was disappointed with the quality.

Some shorts ended in surprising ways, while others didn’t feel finished. There were a couple which ended so abruptly it felt more like the author had contributed a couple of chapters from her book but hadn’t adjusted them to work as a short story, while others only felt partly concluded with the main enemy still undefeated. And then two were so much longer than the others I almost forgot I was reading an anthology.

The thing most humans didn’t understand was that desperation had to age like a fine wine. If it were served too soon, it wouldn’t yield nearly the same full-bodied taste. But now she was ready.

I recognised most of the originals behind the short stories which I always love, especially when new twists are introduced. I grew up with fairy tales and didn’t realise until last year how much I enjoy a good retelling!

My favourites were Yarrow, Sturdy and Bright; Dance with the Devil; No Gift of Words; The Grim Brother; and Still Red. The rest fell flat for me unfortunately.

I’d recommend this if you’re curious about anthologies or love dark fairy tale re-tellings. And if you find your new favourite author in this book, you’ll be thrilled to find details of other releases at the end of each story.


Have you read Once Upon a Curse? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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Review: Origins of the Never by C. J. Rutherford (Tales of the Neverwar, #0.5)

“A prequel to The Tales of the Neverwar series, with dragons, elves and faeries.

Set thousands of years before the Tales of the Neverwar, an epic fantasy through space, time, and reality.
Teralia. A world of light and beauty, holding the core of magic that infuses the universe. A land of Faerie magic and Ancient Dragons.
Here, two friends, closer than brothers, are destined to become the mightiest among the immortal Elven race.
One will fall, ensnared by an ancient evil thought destroyed eons ago.
The other will face a desperate choice to save a doomed world.
Ultimately, only one can prevail.”

What I thought:

This is my last review for 2017, but it’s a good one, friends.

I could have sworn I read once that authors should never combine sci-fi and high fantasy in one book. Something about asking your readers to believe in too much at once? Well, friends, Origins of the Never has magic and fairies and alternate realities and dragons and distant planets and let me tell ya, it works! Whoever said they can’t co-exist peacefully (or not so peacefully–this is about a war) didn’t read this novella.

The Glade held the magic. In the mountains to the north of the Citadel lay the source, the spring of magical energy that infused this world; and through the Never, the void which linked all reality, it passed into the universe.

(Personal note: YAAASSS!)

If we strip it right down, this novella is a love story turned dark. One man loves his best friend’s girl, and seeing them together slowly drives him mad until he raises a zombie army and enslaves all dragons. There were some parts I would have liked Rutherford to expand a little more, but this is only a novella, and it sets up one epic battle of light against dark! I’m hoping to learn more about those parts in Book 1, Souls of the Never.

There was a tiny amount of POV switching and as I already pointed out, I’d have loved more info a few times, but other than that? Yeah, this was good.

Honestly, friends, I usually cut indie books some slack. I’m not a monster. It’s hard publishing your first book yourself without the expertise of an agent and big publishing house behind you telling you what to do and making some decisions for you. I don’t think this needs any slack-cutting, though. I’m expecting big things from the rest of this series. Don’t disappoint me, Rutherford! Fan in the making here!

Gawd, I need more books like this. I can see, maybe, why having both genres in one book might be too much for some readers, but I loved it and have already added the first book in this series to my reading list. If you can think of any others, recommend away. This girl’s ready for more epic sci-fi! <3


Have you read Origins of the Never? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

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My Favourite Books of 2017

Welcome to another round of favourite reads!

Last week, I looked back on my favourite indie books of 2017, but today I’m showing off the awesome traditionally published books I devoured these past eleven months <3 Get ready for the goodness!*  And, of course, the last review of the year is still scheduled for later, too 🙂

I was originally going to select 10 very special books for this list but it was impossible to cut seven, so here are my favourite 17 😀

* much of it is magical goodness, too, which makes this list even better

The Night Circus

I can’t imagine a better start to my year <3 This was magical, and perfect for December/January. If you haven’t read this yet, it’s an easy recommendation for the cold months ahead! I don’t usually re-read books for time reasons*, but this might be a yearly winter read <3

* and, yes, my tbr list threatening to crush me might have something to do with it, too

Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, & Ruin and Rising

How could I not read these after Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom? This trilogy was my reward for finishing NaNo last year, and they were my first reads this year (since I technically started The Night Circus in December 2016*). I loved them for so many reasons, but the Russian mythology was my personal highlight <3

* Wow, that seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

I loved how whimsical and magical and different this was. Auri is one of my favourite characters in Rothfuss’s books, so having this little novella entirely from her POV was amazing. If you can forget for a moment what a book is supposed to be* and embrace Auri’s mind, this is perfection. The illustrations** were a lovely touch, too.

* like filled with dialogue and character development
** It’s just occurred to me that I’ve read a few books with pwetty illustrations this year… Read on and see 😉

The Caves of Steel

This was so much better than expected, and I can’t wait to read more sci-fi now. I’m holding off until I start writing my own sci-fi WIP*, but this was a fantastic introduction for me.

* this may just be next year’s NaNo project… I was so tempted this year, guys! SO TEMPTED

Equal Rites

I didn’t read anywhere near as many Discworld novels this year as I wanted to*, but out of the few I did manage to read Equal Rites is my favourite. I love Granny Weatherwax and hope to see her around in future novels. I thought Mort would take the lead but now I think it’ll be difficult for another one to come close.

We’ll see, 2018. We’ll see.

* my goal was ten and I read *counts down on her fingers* three. #fail

An Ember in the Ashes & A Torch Against the Night

Oddly enough, I’m not sure what to say other than that I really enjoyed these and am looking forward to Book 3! They’d been on my tbr list for a while and were just as good as I hoped they’d be.

Although, I’m a little annoyed that Book 2 is larger than Book 1. It looks weird on my shelf. #bookwormproblems

Our Dark Duet

I’m always torn about Schwab’s books. I like them and definitely get the hype, but at the same time they just don’t excite me. I liked this, but I also didn’t struggle to put it aside for the day. But, as I said, I definitely get the hype, which is why it’s on this list despite me being torn 🙂 And I did love the opening and those little chapters where Kate tried to control her sanity. Those won it for me.

The Final Empire

Originally, I was going to treat myself to the other books in this series as a reward for winning NaNo this year, but then I failed miserably *awkward cough* They’re on the list for my next book haul, whenever that’ll be. It’s a masterclass of fantasy writing and I feel like I should read it again, notebook and pen by my side so I can take notes.

Illuminae & Gemina

I don’t know what to say other than ouch, my feelings, and DAMN, these looked pretty on the inside! Illuminae and Gemina re-defined what a book is with their one-word pages, stunning illustrations of space ships and explosions and blood soaking through pages and letters and emails and final goodbyes and gah, just read them yourself!

Dracula

I’d never read this before October, but am so happy I’ve done it now <3 It’s not often you read a book that invented a genre! And I’ve got the stunning cloth-bound edition, so it’s pretty on my shelf, too*.

* It’s important to have priorities, friends and familiars.

Nevernight & Godsgrave

If it wasn’t for Illuminae, Nevernight would easily be my favourite book this year. But then Illuminae came and made decisions hard.

I feel like this series is the most grown-up epic fantasy I’ll ever read, but that might just be all the bloody details, sex, and heavy swearing talking. Definitely my kind of book 😛

The Language of Thorns

This is the most beautiful book I’ve bought all year. If you haven’t seen my review for it yet I recommend you take a look since I showed off the illustrations which grow with the short stories. It was beautiful inside and out, and the short stories made me feel nostalgic. If you love dark fairy tales, this is a must-read!

You can find the reviews for all of these on this blog, too, if you’d like to know more 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll have one last post before I go on my Christmas break, but then that’s it for 2017! Can you believe how fast it’s gone? I’m excited to see what amazing reads are waiting for me in 2018*. If you’re here for my bookish posts like this one, and don’t care for my general updates, I wish you a merry Christmas, lovely holidays, and a happy new year now <3 I’ll see you in 2018, friends and familiars!

* BRING IT ON, OBSIDIO

What were your favourite reads this year? Did you love any of these as much as I did? Make a tea, take some cookies, and talk books to me!


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Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens (Iníonaofa Chronicles #2) (ARC)

“Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.”

What I thought:

I was thrilled when I was offered an ARC of Heralding. I loved the prequel novella Eléonore, and have been looking forward to Heralding ever since last year December. So. Worth. The Wait!

Survive. That was always the goal of each year. Live and prepare for another. Protect Étienne. I had stopped worrying about my own future a long time ago. Life was a day by day thing, not something to hope or wish for.

One of the many highlights for me was the relationship Eléonore has with her son, Étienne. She’s torn between knowing she needs to tell him about his heritage sooner or later, but she also wants to protect him from her world for as long as possible. Any Mum will understand her decisions and reservations, and will love the strong bond they have. Nothing matters to her as much as protecting her child, but as her two worlds–her domestic one with Étienne and her job as a kick-ass demon hunter–come ever closer to colliding, keeping Étienne safe isn’t so easy anymore. Especially when Étienne shows signs and everything gets a little more complicated.

As much as I loved the mother-son relationship, I just wanted Eléonore to make up with Raphael. It’s clear she still loves him (and he certainly makes no secret of his own feelings), and I feel bad for the guy, you know? His only crime is that he fathered a son who may or may not have magic, and Eléonore’s desire to protect Étienne from her life of demons and dark magic is so strong she doesn’t even let poor Raph near him for fear Étienne will get pulled into her world too soon. Eléonore loves Raphael, and there’s nothing she wants more than a normal life with her son and the man she loves, but as any mother will know, her baby comes first, always. Raph is an understanding champion through it all, even when he comes close to Étienne. Bless him, that must have hurt 🙁

A tugging sensation began in my fingers. It spread through my whole body as Raphael pulled me from the fabric of our reality and into the one than ran between time and space. The dimension we travelled was black and filled with grey shapes without any distinguishable forms. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d trespassed through it.

Honestly, I want what Eléonore wants–for them to be together and have a happy ending as a family.

(Gawd, all my notes are about their relationship! Why am I so bad at this? Other things happened?)

Besides their family dynamics, the side characters were excellent, too. Everyone needs a friend like Rosalie–caring, loyal, and always there for Eléonore–and even though Kerryn got a lot of hate dislike? for being a demon, she’s one of my favourite characters. This book has a lot of sass, but the banter between Kerryn and Eléonore adds most of it.

Oh, also, there’s a war coming between demons and the Iníonaofa. Eléonore is only just starting to understand her powers and there aren’t many other Iníonaofa, so I can’t wait to see how everything is going to clash in the next book.

Maybe he would think I was some kind of hero. Maybe that was worse than the truth.

If you’re a fan of kick-ass heroines in an urban fantasy setting, then this is the book for you! Better yet, if you grew up with Buffy and loved her, you’ll love Eléonore, too. This is a very easy recommendation indeed!


Have you read Eléonore, Book 1 in this series? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

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