A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E Schwab

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Published: February 27th 2015 by Titan Books

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I have seen the hype surrounding these books for absolutely ages now. I bought all three of them from amazon at the same time because I was absolutely expecting to love it – I had heard so many amazing things before hand, I wondered how I couldn’t?!? However… I ended up dnfing it *ducks*. I really didn’t enjoy it, to the point where I was forcing myself to pick it up. So, unpopular opinion is abound, people!

I think my biggest issue was that I wasn’t feeling any kind of connection to any of the characters. I often felt like they were superficial and I really struggled to actually care about what was going to happen to them – much less like them. I didn’t like the chopping and changing between the character arcs because I often felt like none of them had their own voices. To me, they all sounded pretty similar. For me, it is really important (especially in fantasy books) to have that connection to the characters because that is a large part of what makes me pick the book back up. When I am invested in the character’s well being, I obviously have to know what happens to them and if they make it to the end of the books/series. I wasn’t feeling that with Kell, Lila and Holland. I just didn’t really get it.

I also felt like the plot was slow and dragged. Maybe book one is used to set up the rest of the series? I don’t know, but I often felt bored and I would end up having to re read passages of the book because my mind had wondered to different things and I had forgotten what I had just read. I found it too easy to put the book down and pick it up again at a later time. The plot could have had a little sprucing up and been made a little more fast paced… or even have something of interest happen in the first part of the book.

I also felt like aspects of the magic system that were being created were a little too coincidental. Like the magic sword that Kell enchanted himself to stop magic users from being able to use just that. I felt like Schwab sort of bent certain aspects of it to fit into the plot that she was trying to write and I just didn’t really enjoy it.

All in all, I was expecting to love these and I just… didn’t. I feel a lot like I felt after This Savage Song, in the sense that it was missing something that should have kept me hooked throughout. I’m thinking that maybe Schwab’s writing just isn’t for me… I gave this book 1/5 stars.

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here and link me up in the comments so that I and others can see what you picked! 

Hey guys! I hope you all had a fab weekend! I am writing this post Monday morning rather than sunday evening (as is my usual ritual) because I was reading last night and got so into the book that I was reading, that I actually forgot to write this post! *Facepalm* So… better late than never!

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Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Published: January 3rd 2017 by St. Martins Griffin

In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?

Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.

She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

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Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Published: February 23rd 2016 by Harlequin Teen

ONE CHOICE.
TWO REALMS.
NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

I have had this on my TBR for ages! It was actually a highly anticipated read for last year and I just never got around to it! However, I wish I had gotten to it sooner because I absolutely loved it!

Tenley (Ten) is our MC who is currently stuck in Prynne prison because she refuses to sign with Myriad. I enjoyed her as a character. I loved her strength of mind despite everything that she went through – if anything, her experiences actually made her stronger. She doesn’t trust easily and she usually follows her gut instinct, which I quite like about her. I like the way that she began to open up throughout the book and become more trusting with both the boys and also the way that her relationship grew with Sloan, who is someone that she hates from the prison.

I think between Killian and Archer, Killian was my favourite. He has his own issues, like Ten does, but he manages to see past his past mistakes and begins to also open up with Ten like she does him. It doesn’t come to him easy, but he begins to see what Myriad truly is and he begins to make decisions based on what he thinks is best for her rather that purely getting her to sign with Myriad. I did like Archer too, but he is a lot more open with her and I feel like he is more the big brother role.

The premise of this book is really intriguing. I like the idea of having an Everlife after your normal human life and the idea that you can choose between two realms – or if you don’t choose, you go to a hellish sort of place called Many Ends. I also really liked the way that both realms are completely opposite, Troika being light and Myriad being dark. The realms are pretty mysterious and that remains throughout the whole book. No one really knows what the realms were like until you died, which made the decision of who to choose even more difficult. From what I had read, I would have chosen Troika – I don’t think I’m cut out for Myriad.

Can I also just mention the end!! :-O I mean, I guess it was foreshadowed thanks to Loony Lina, but I still was not expecting it to happen the way that it did! I don’t want to give too much away because spoilers, but I was extremely upset and I felt betrayed. It was a character that I really grew to like throughout the book and I was really upset when she did what she did.

I will say, though, that I definitely feel like Ten was sometimes a little too strong a person, if that makes sense? I know we all like strong female leads, but I feel like everyone has a breaking point and I don’t feel like she ever really reached that breaking point – either mentally or physically. It would have been nice to see some form of weakness, even when she was injured.

All in all, I really liked this book. The plot kept me intrigued and on my toes because you never knew what was going to happen next. I absolutely cannot wait to get a copy of the next book! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

(Rezension) Das Reich der sieben Höfe Flammen und Finsternis – Sarah J. Maas

For all the German people who have been waiting for ACOMAF 🙂

SJM

Das Reich der sieben Höfe

Flammen und Finsternis

Autor/in: Sarah J. Maas

Verlag: dtv

Seiten: 720 Seiten

Preis: 19,95 EUR (HC)

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Feyre hat überlebt. Sie hat Amarantha, die grausame Fae-Königin, besiegt und ist mit Tamlin an den Frühlingshof zurückgekehrt. Doch das scheinbar glückliche Ende täuscht. Tamlin verändert sich immer mehr und nimmt ihr allen Freiraum. Feyre hat Albträume, denn sie kann die schrecklichen Dinge nicht vergessen, die sie tun musste, um Tamlin zu retten. Und sie ist einen riskanten Handel mit Rhys eingegangen und muss nun jeden Monat eine Woche an seinem gefürchteten Hof der Nacht verbringen. Dort wird sie immer tiefer in ein Netz aus Intrigen, Machtspielen und ungezügelter Leidenschaft gezogen.

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The Cabin by Natasha Preston

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The Cabin by Natasha Preston

Published: September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

They think they’re invincible.

They think they can do and say whatever they want. They think there are no consequences. They’ve left me no choice. It’s time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…

I first saw this book on Netgalley last year and I just knew that I had to read it! I absolutely love the cover and the blurb drew me in. I cannot even believe it took me this long to get to it because I loved it!

This book follows Mackenzie through the murders of two of her friends and her trying to clear her name and the names of her other friends who were also there the night of the murders. I really liked Mackenzie in this book – she was sassy and fun, but she also took care of those who needed it after the events that happened and she was just an easy character to like. She was also naive at times because she didn’t want to believe the obvious, but I could also understand why.

The only other character who I liked was Blake. It took a while for the reader to really get to know him because he is a pretty closed of character, but I loved watching him open up to Mackenzie and the way that his true feelings started to show.

I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the way that all the motives started to show themselves after the deaths. At the beginning, none of our characters had a motive to kill the other two… but things started to slowly unfold as the story went on and it seemed like any one of them could have done it. I did have a gut feeling from the very beginning about who committed the murders and it turned out that I was right – but I had no idea what the motive was, so I was hooked because I just had to know.

Despite the fact that I knew who had killed them, I was not expecting the ending to go down the way that it did!! It left me completely gobsmacked and I would definitely not be opposed to a second book! I loved listening to the motive behind why the character did what they did and to see just how twisted they were in their thinking.

All in all, I absolutely loved this book and the ending has left me in complete shock! I would absolutely love to see a second book, but I also like the way that it was left because it leaves the future to the readers’ imaginations. I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here and add your link in the comments so that others can see what you picked! 

Hey Guys! I hope you all had a good weekend 🙂 The weather here has been a bit on and off, so it’s been a bit iffy! But a lot more time to read 😛 Anyway, this weeks pick for me is the second book in a duology – I wasn’t really blown away by the first, but I’m still interested to see where the series is going to go – and whether all the points can really be wrapped up in the second book! Also, quick note, I am going to stop putting inlinkz at the bottom because there aren’t really enough people linking up to put it in every week – despite the number of people that participate!

The crowns fate

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye

Published: May 16th 2017 by Balzer + Bray

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

 

July Wrap Up

Hey guys! 🙂 This post is coming a couple of days late – but better late than never! I hope you all had a great July. So without further ado, let’s jump into it.

Read:

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson – 5/5 stars

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – 5/5 stars

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – 4/5 stars

Ok, I had a pretty terrible reading month! I am hoping that I am finally coming out of the slump that I have been in for AGES!!

Book Haul:

Bought:

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

A Darker Shade of Magic Trilogy by V. E. Schwab – I bought all three at the same time

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Now I Rise by Kierstin White

ARCS/Gifted:

The Border by Steve Schafer – ARC (Sourcebooks Fire)

Wicked Fallout by Kelly Charron – Copy sent to me via the author

Goodreads Monday:

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

So, that’s it! I did not have the best of months, but I was in a bit of a slump. However, I definitely think I am coming out of it, so here is fingers crossed to a better August! Hope you all have a great month 🙂

 

S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

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S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

Expected Publication: August 10th 2017 by Hot Key Books

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

A twisting thriller for fans of Looking for Alaska and The Hunger Games

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry’s parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school…

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from Hot Key Books via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.

When I saw this book on Netgalley and read what it was about, I just had to request it. The blurb instantly drew me in and I love reading these twisty cat and mouse kind of books. However, whilst I was expecting to love it, I just didn’t. I feel like this book fell short in a lot of areas and I just did not enjoy myself as much as I thought I would reading this.

From the very first pages, we already know what is going to have happened by the end of the book, to who it is going to happen and who did the doing. This completely took away from the mystery surrounding the book and the blood sports and the people who we were meeting because I already knew what was going to happen. As soon as I got to know the characters a little more, the book became completely predictable and I really struggled to actually continue reading at times.

I also really struggled to like out MC, Greer. She won a scholarship to a prestigious, private school (there is only one scholarship given out per year to a student from a normal school) and I feel like she acted really really stupid throughout the whole book. Like, I literally wanted to reach into the book and smack some sense into her because there were some really obvious signs of stuff going on that she just completely missed. We are told about how intelligent she is etc. but I just wanted to shake her throughout most of the book. Even when she knew what was going on, she still questioned everything after a few words from Henry because he was “Oh so chamring” (this vibe about Henry not coming over to the reader at all). Again with the shaking.

The “Medievals” also all really bugged me. I don’t feel like any of their voices stood out and I wasn’t getting the vibe that I was supposed to be getting from Henry. I also feel like the ending didn’t fit with anything that we were told about them. I feel like they would have done other things or maybe sorted out the issue a different way.

A huge issue I had with this book was the ending. There was a new aspect added to the book about 85% of the way in that I feel wasn’t really explained very well and should have been introduced much earlier so that we could have gotten used to it being part of the story a bit earlier. The ending and the solution was pretty rushed and it was also left open in a way that could mean a book 2 is coming – but it was also ended in a way that I can’t see another book coming because of the ages of our MC’s. So, I’m confused, really.

I think the only aspect I really liked about this book was Shafeen – he was the smartest person there and thank goodness he was there because I probably would have DNFed this book without him. He was a no nonsense, save the day kind of guy, who wouldn’t have even been there if Greer hadn’t gone. Hey ho. I would have liked to have seen more of the ship that was setting sail in this book, because I don’t feel like I saw enough of them and the relationship/the way it grew to actually ship them, but it is a cute concept.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book. I was expecting so much more, but I was left annoyed with the MC and wishing that the certain aspects of the plot had been revealed either later or earlier. I gave this book 2/5 stars.

Wicked Fallout by Kelly Charron

wicked fallout

Wicked Fallout by Kelly Charron

Published: July 17th 2017 by Dark Arts Publishing

Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.

Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to do the impossible—get her immediately released with a commuted sentence.

Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.

At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.

Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?

Note: I received a copy of this from the author. This in no way influences my opinion.

When I checked my inbox to see that this had landed in it – I was so excited! I absolutely LOVED Pretty Wicked and I was so stoked to read this. This is the sequel to Pretty Wicked, but it can also be read as a standalone without reading PW first. However, I have mixed opinions about this book. I enjoyed the second half more than I did the first.

This book is set 12 years after the events of Pretty Wicked and follows Ryann further as she tries to get a commuted sentence for her crimes. What I enjoyed about this book was that we got 2 POVs – Ryanns and that of the Forensic Psychiatrist (Nancy) who has to determine whether Ryann has rehabilitated or not. I enjoyed watching the way that Ryann thought and acted and what Nancy was also thinking and whether she was believing what Ryann was saying to her etc. I definitely feel that Ryann has changed some from PW (I don’t want to give too many spoilers out) and it is interesting to see her thoughts and the way that she does certain things.

I think a big issue I had with this book was the fact that I felt like the first half was just rehashing the events of PW. I don’t feel like enough happened outside of that and there were times were I was feeling a little bored because I already knew what had happened. I did enjoy watching Nancy’s reaction to the way that Ryann was describing the events and whether or not Nancy was believing her.

The second half of the book definitely had me more gripped. I HAD to know whether Ryann’s sentence was going to be commuted or not – especially with the way our characters were around each other. I enjoyed the way that the drama unfolded in the prison with Ryann and the other inmates and the way that things got more and more heated the closer they got to making a decision about Ryann’s sentencing.

I would have liked to have seen various aspects of Nancy’s past shown in a little bit more detail. I feel like the issues that she had regarding members of her family were resolved a little too easily and quickly, whilst the other mistake that she made in her past (and still struggles to deal with) wasn’t shown enough. I would have liked to have known more about the case and the person etc.

The ending was AMAZING! It is very unclear right up until the very end what decision Nancy is going to make! I also love the way that things were left off! I am not sure whether there will be another book in the series, but the ending is definitely open to the possibility, or the reader is able to decide what is going to happen next themselves! If there is going to be another book, I am so on it! I absolutely have to know what the author would have in store for our characters next!

I think my favourite thing about this book is the way that the psychology of Ryann’s actions and the way she does things. There are not very many books that focus on the killer themselves, and those that I have read have nothing on this book. The psychology is so easy to get sucked into, with the reader feeling conflicted because you know that what Ryann has done and is doing is wrong, but you just have to know the way that she thinks and acts. It’s fascinating…

All in all, I had mixed opinions about this book. I definitely enjoyed the second half more than the first and I am excited at the idea of another book in this series! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here and link up to the inlinkz below so that others can see what you picked. 

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! 🙂 I just want to start out by wishing the most amazing husband in the world a happy birthday! :-*

Anyway, my pick for this week is a book mid series that I am extremely excited about picking up because I absolutely loved the first two books!

the song rising

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Published: March 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA

The hotly anticipated third book in the bestselling Bone Season series – a ground-breaking, dystopian fantasy of extraordinary imagination

Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London’s criminal population.

But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging.

Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…