Hello. My name is Tricia, and I have an addiction, an addiction to fiction. Fellow addicts, I welcome you with open arms. Blogger over @ bookwormcoalition.wordpress.com
The Black Witch was a bit of a slow starter, but never dull by any means. It slowly sunk its claws into me and wouldn't relent until I finished every book I could get my hands on in The Black Witch Chronicles.
Elloren could be hard to like and listen to sometimes, but I found her journey through the world and discovering beliefs and opinions for her herself to be a long, rocky, but ultimately real feeling one that allowed her to grow over time.
I was truly impressed with the world building in this book. I easily found myself totally enchanted with this land full of magic and mystery.
I do think that this story requires some amount of patience to really get into, but I found that after while I couldn't put the book down and any story that makes me instantly purchase every other book in series is a pretty impressive one, imo.
*I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Teen via Netgalley and this is my honest review*
I was pleasantly surprised to find The Dinner List in my mailbox a week back. The premise was interesting, I think we've all at least considered the question, if you could name five people, living or dead, who you could invite to dinner, who would they be? So the idea of having this dream dinner come true, what would that ACTUALLY look like, would everyone get along? Would some people end up not being what you thought they'd be like? Etc. Well our MC Sabrina had just this happen at 30th birthday dinner, her five living and deceased people there for her.
The story takes place over the span of this one time only dinner, and also jumps back to past events between Sabrina and all of the guests. While the story starts off a little awkward between the guests and what they are all really doing there, it starts all coming to light as it progresses. With a twist or two along the way!
This was a little of a slow burn. Not action packed by any means, but ultimately very emotional with some truly fantastic ideas about what it is to grow up, relationships, love, loss, and forgiveness.
A few things that resonated deeply with me:
1) The brilliant portrayal of what it is like to become an adult. To really start to question all the things around you, the relationships, the goals you want to achieve, what you want to do or be, want you really want and need vs what others may want or need or expect you to. The last one especially, we are almost hardwired on what to expect from life, go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, start a family, etc. I feel like we don't start questioning these things, if any or all of them are truly what we want or if we are just operating on someone else's playbook until we are in our twenties. It was refreshing and so real to see this exactly so beautifully on display in this book.
2) How relationships change over time. This can be such a difficult lesson to learn, but as we grow and our lives carry us in new exciting directions, our relationships change. That doesn't always mean they change for the worse, but one they definitely become something other than the center of your life, which is mostly how they feel when you are young. More often than not, it isn't even anything definable that changes it, no big dramatic moment, not one thing, it changes "Not with a bang but a whimper". Just a progressive shift of priorities, opinions, and lifestyles.
I thought this was expertly portrayed by Sabrina and Jessica in The Dinner List. Sometimes it can be so difficult to see that while your relationships look different, it doesn't necessarily mean make them less than they were. Jessica had a husband and a baby, living in the burbs, while Sabrina was in the city with a job and a long term boyfriend. Neither one being better than the other, but time, distance, priorities, these all account for just how we can be there for each other sometimes.
This was also highlighted well with Sabrina's relationship with Tobias as well. With them getting together when they were younger and growing up as a couple. I felt like in some instances as they grew, they started veering in different directions and it can be really hard to accept that some of those directions may just end up being deal breakers. They seemed more content to try and live in a bubble of denial that things were changing, maybe because they were afraid of what that change would mean for them as a couple. Unfortunately denial can only last so long and their bubble was reaching the bursting point for quite some time.
3) The absentee parent. Being someone who never met my father, I could relate to Sabrina and her inclusion of her father on her dinner list. If for nothing more than the burning questions, because there are always questions you have for someone meant to be there for you that wasn't. I was riveted by all their interactions with each other tbh. So many small details even, that rang so true, like Sabrina's apprehension to give him a chance to explain things like it would somehow be a betrayal to her mother.
There was something so brilliant and sad about them finally having only a few hours to say what they had to say to each other. And something so relatable to anyone, when you finally see your parents for what they are, human. Such a jarring realization to know that these larger than life pillars are merely flesh and bone people who aren't always right, make mistakes, and aren't all good or bad, but varying shades of grey like the rest of us.
Honestly, this book was more heavy than I anticipated going in, but in a wonderful way. And the inclusion of Audrey Hepburn and a random teacher of Sabrina's helped lighten the load a little throughout. They ended up bringing a nice balance to the dinner and the story itself. This was one dinner that just might change Sabrina's life, and one book that will make you think about your own. Very well done and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Let me start this review by saying I have a teenage daughter. Now, as a mom, I can't be the only one ever to have one of those dreams...one of those terrifying nightmares where your child is basically the devil incarnate and you're just feverishly drowning in helplessness, no matter what you do the situation/your child cannot be swayed, controlled or tempered. Like trying to slog through the quicksand stairs while the monster is chasing you. This book is like living that nightmare and you just can't escape from it.
I was completely riveted by this story. It plays on so so many parental fears, fears we all have,
'am I doing this right?'
'Should I have done it this way or that way instead?'
'Am I wrong for thinking this..or feeling that?'
'Am I a good mother?'
It made me waiver constantly on my feelings towards Suzette. Much of her thought process was so relatable. We tend to, right or wrong, have a constant internal battle with ourselves and Suzette was a pretty spectacular example of this. Even the way she constantly compared her upbringing to that which she provided for her daughter. We all strive to 'be better', we all want for our children that which we felt we lacked and needed the most. On the flip side though, she could be selfish and quick to think or expect the worst, although considering her history it wasn't exactly a stretch to see why she would do so in some ways, and her constant desire to exude perfection, especially to her husband was concerning. Really she was a spectacularly flawed human, much like the rest of us. I mean, can you still call it paranoia if there's a legitimate reason to be paranoid?
Hannah was an equally compelling character. It was easy to teeter back and forth between feeling sympathy for her and wondering how much of what was happening with her was in fact due to the dynamic in the household, or stemming from Suzette's shortcomings or overreaching and her father's overcompensation and denial, or being terrified of the fact that maybe she is a deeply disturbed little girl capable of horrifying actions. Either way it was impossible to look away, I was as determined as Suzette to get to the bottom of this mystery. Admittedly some of her actions seemed over the top and to be a thrill just for the sake of the thrill, but it was honestly still riveting nonetheless.
I don't want to spoil anything because a lot of the page-turning fun of this book is waiting to find out what is really happening and which side you will ultimately fall on. Although I will say that even at the very end I still found myself conflicted on that! But I must say, as frustrating as that can be, it was also an unexpected surprise and I feel like it fit the story as a whole quite well. I truly enjoyed this book and had trouble putting it down, it was pretty much everything it promised it would be, a disturbing, fast paced page-turner that will keep you engrossed till the very end!
This book was a bit of a slow starter for me. While things were interesting enough at the beginning, it wasn't till the last half of the book where I became truly invested in it. I feel like maybe some of that was because it took me quite awhile to warm up to the characters. I just wasn't invested in the main character, Eelyn, for a long time. By the end I did feel more for her, but it took some time to get there. I think most of that came from the mercurial relationship between Eelyn and her brother.
I was also expecting more of the story in general. I was really excited to read about this mix of mythology and Vikings but I felt like those aspects fell short of my expectations. I think a lot of those elements that were a part of the story were the obvious ones, how intense the call to battle is and the idol worship, but I didn't see much that went beyond the surface there.
I liked the overall message of discovering that the enemy isn't always some unredeemable monster, but more often than not a person just like you, a shade of grey, a person capable of good and bad, darkness and light, with family and friends and people that love them. That was, to me, the best part of this story and undoubtedly the most compelling.
*I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley and this is my honest review*
This book is probably my FAVORITE book of 2018 thus far. These beautifully flawed, strong women are everything that I want to read in novels of any genre!
I loved the alternating perspectives from Eliana and Rielle / present and past, and how wonderfully their stories are so intertwined. All these characters live in shades of grey and I freaking love it!
Forbidden love, courtly drama, a Prince and a Wolf, two fierce women trying to figure themselves out and where they stand, magic and mystery, this book has it all. I was sucked in from the very beginning and I ended on the edge of my seat anxiously awaiting a sequel!
*I received an ARC via Netgalley and this is my honest review*
I was so excited to jump back into this epic fantasy world Laurel created, and this sequel did not disappoint. Where Heir of Thunder was a full-blown high adrenaline adventure, Quest of Thunder was a little less of an adrenaline rush, but full to the brim with the same magic and a heavy focus on character development. We got to see the main characters we know and love grow and flourish in many ways, and we met some new additions that I am absolutely over the moon for!
One of the best parts about these stories is how immersive they are. You feel like you are a part of Evie's grand adventure every step of the way, from flying ships to traveling circuses. Nothing is as it first appears, prepare yourself for layers of magical surprises! I honestly fell completely in love with the circus and all its many layers. I won't ruin any of the surprises here but I will say there was a definite steampunk theme that got added to the mix in the most amazing way! These books are fast paced fantasy fun and I highly recommend checking them out. I am anxiously awaiting the next book!
Mythology, magic and mystery...all my favorite M words in one novel.
If you read my reviews you know I'm a sucker for mythology, and Kowallis seamlessly weaves it into the world of the Hexens in an utterly unique way.
I also think it needs to be said that this story has some serious Indiana Jones vibes happening. The riddles to be solved, hunting for possibly fictitious relics from the past, magical BOOBY TRAPS, all being pioneered by the badass seeker of knowledge, professor/Hexen extrodinaire, Taran Grim.
Taran was pretty awesome. Although her Hexen legacy was not as accomplished as it could be, her knowledge on the mythological and mystical was second to none. Or at least, very few. I'm glad she still has some stuff to learn where her spells/powers are involved because I think if she had all that straight away she would be unstoppable at whatever she puts her mind to. I think I'll quite enjoy watching her develop and exact those powers as the story continues.
Now can we talk Collens Donovan for a hot minute? How is it even an accent on paper is HAWT?
I mean, he was kinda douchetastic at the beginning, but we all know sometimes those rough around the edges types are hiding all their many squishy loveable bits underneath. Coll was no exception. His magical prowess was a nice balance to Taran's wealth of knowledge. As Taran chipped away at his armor we got a much better idea of him as a person without the bluster and bravado...and of course, like Taran, it was hard not to like what I saw.
That ending was explosive, be prepared for twists and revelations you won't see coming! I was on the edge of my seat by the end and I CAN'T WAIT to see what happens next in this world of magic and mayhem! If you are a fan of mythology, adventure, magic, and swoon-worthy characters you need to add Hexen's Cross to your must-read list.
Btw still insanely jealous of Hexen's ability to magic their way around daily nuisances like doing your hair and avoiding traffic. Taran, share your secrets with me please!
*I received an ARC at no cost from the author*
"The monsters we kill think we're the monsters. Villains never see themselves as villains. I think it just makes you feel better to think of the things we kill as monsters. As things different than us."
Dark Dreams and Dead Things was a fitting title, for multiple reasons. I felt like there was a little bit darker of a tone to this one than the first, in a really great way. The character development was well done and I really liked the inclusion of some fresh, interesting faces too. I continue to be impressed with how big of a world that McAtee created and how well she puppeteers each of the many inhabitants and the story lines! There was a lot going on in this one, a few new mysteries to solve, along with the progression of the main plot. The ending was especially good and I can't wait to see what happens next!
I have to say I really enjoyed this sequel to The Alchemists of Loom! It had everything I look for in a sequel, compelling character development and riveting plot progression. I liked the Alchemists of Loom, but I LOVED The Dragons of Nova.
I am so happy we got a better view of Nova in this one, and all the juicy dragonian politics that come along with it. I found Arianna's time there so engrossing, being completely surrounded by the dragons she despises, even (if rather reluctantly) working with them to bring down the biggest, baddest one of them all. Seeing Cvareh in his natural habitat was also a treat. I think that he was so out of his element in the first book that often he seemed to be floundering, but in Nova we got to see this other side to him, one where he is well respected and a real pillar of strength to his people.
As much as I liked Nova, I was also glad to continue Florence's journey with the rebels, and even more so her personal journey. It was nice to see her stepping out of Ari's shadow and really coming into her own. Florence had learned a lot of invaluable things from Ari, but watching her discover the world around her for herself and deciding on her own what is important to her and what to fight for.
That ending was EXPLOSIVE, and I am dying to know what is going to happen next. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next book!
I know I have like 6 book reviews to write but I seriously can't stop binge reading the Charley Davidson books right now! These books are addictive! A little bit of mystery, a little romance, a little supernatural, a little humor, a little action and a lot of fun! And all those things are really more than just a little.
I am so excited to share the cover reveal for The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova! I am dying to get my hands on this book, and I promise you this cover is just as stunning as the others!
Title: The Rebels of Gold
Series: The Loom Saga (Book Three) – Final book!
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34503713-the-rebels-of-gold
A new rebellion rises from the still-smoldering remnants of the five guilds of Loom to stand against Dragon tyranny. Meanwhile, on Nova, those same Dragons fight amongst themselves, as age-old power struggles shift the political landscape in fateful and unexpected ways. Unlikely leaders vie for the opportunity to shape a new world order from the perfect clockwork designs of one temperamental engineer.
This is the final installment of USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova’s Loom Saga, THE REBELS OF GOLD will reveal the fate of Loom’s brilliantly contrasting world and its beloved inhabitants.
Pre-order THE REBELS OF GOLD from:
(more pre-order locations to come)
As if you need any further incentive to pre-order this gem…but lucky for you there is!
For those who preorder THE REBELS OF GOLD, they can get exclusive swag for submitting their preorder. More info here: http://elisekova.com/pre-order/
If you haven’t started The Loom Saga yet, now is the perfect time to start before Rebels of Gold is here!
Books in the Loom Saga:
THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM
THE DRAGONS OF NOVA
THE REBELS OF GOLD
To celebrate the final book in the Loom Saga, the first book, THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM, is on sale! The eBook is on sale for $3.99 (regular price – $6.99).
This was a cute contemporary romance. It was a quick read, which explains why like went to love rather briskly. The characters were well developed and likable. Kinsley was smart, sweet, independent lady and Jarred was your typical billionaire on the playboy path that needed something or someone to point him in a better direction. While it sounds pretty standard for the romance genre, I liked that Jarred wasn't a total jerk. It seemed like it was more him finally living up to the low expectations his parents had set for him. It was nice seeing him grow out of his parental issues and finally take his life more seriously. Kinsley and Jarred made a cute pair and they seemed good for each other. I was hoping for a little more of the happy couple at the end, but things wrapped up in a nice way.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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I was super excited to read Rise of the Sea Witch! I just love villain evolution stories! I find it incredibly interesting to see what makes a villain a villain, I feel like 90% of the time villains are made, not born. And who's story better to get than Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid?!
Ursula definitely falls into the 90%, she was not born Ursula the Sea Witch, she was born Princes Vanessa, daughter of Poseidon, big sister to Prince Triton. Vanessa definitely didn't have things as easy as you would anticipate a Princess having. At an early age, after the death of her mother, it was painfully obvious that Poseidon was not the hands-on, loving parent that the kids so desperately needed. And it was apparent that Vanessa drew his ire more than anyone (the real juicy bit is why though!!).
I feel like Poseidon's indifference to Vanessa only pushed her more to impress him and do everything, and anything, to just once feel like she mattered. It drove her to work as hard as she could to be his successor as Ruler of Atlantica. More often than not in this endeavor I feel as if Vanessa's intentions were good(ish) but they ultimately lead to her downfall nevertheless.
Vanessa wasn't the purest, or sweetest, or the most thoughtful person, at times she could be downright selfish, entitled, and vindictive, but to be honest I feel like this endeared me to her even more. It made her feel more real to me. And it also made it hurt that much more when things inevitably came back to burn her, tenfold. I didn't always agree with her choices but I did come to understand why she made them. To be honest, by the end I was furious for Vanessa, a little part of me thought her a little justified in her craving for vengeance.
I also really liked how the story was told, with Ursula telling her victims, who had no choice but to listen, how she was wronged and what drove her to help the "poor unfortunate souls" like them. It was both sad and glorious to see the Ursula we know, dramatically telling this woe-is-me tale to none other than the mer-people that she had imprisoned.
I was really pumped to read this story and I am so glad I did because it exceeded my expectations! If any of this sounds even a bit intriguing to you, I highly recommend giving this one a try!