The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

the last magician

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Published: July 18th 2017 by Simon Pulse

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

I have had this book sat on my shelf since some time last year, so when I saw that book 2 is being released some time this year, I had thought I had better pick it up. The premise of this sounded amazing and I have had high expectations for it since I first heard about it pre release. However, this book just fell short of what I was expecting and I was left pretty disappointed.

The beginning of this book felt extremely jumpy and disconnected. It didn’t make a lot of sense until Esta really went back in time for what she was meant to do throughout the main portion of the book. The constant jumping around between characters felt relatively jarring and I struggled to get into the book because of it. It did start coming together when Esta went back for the book and that is when I started to enjoy the book a little more.

Carrying on from that point, there was no real hook for me. Whilst the story was enjoyable whilst I was reading it, there was nothing really compelling me to pick it back up if I put it down. The book didn’t stay in my head when I had to do other things and it failed to really blow Me away.

The plot itself was ok, if not a little predictable. I enjoyed myself throughout reading it and it was a relatively quick read – butI had predicted a major plot twist at the beginning of the book. It was missing that spark to really blow me away and it didn’t leave much of an impression after I had finished the book.

Another issue I had was that I didn’t feel any real connection to any of the characters. Whilst I enjoyed reading the interactions between Harte and Esta because they were sassy and fun, none of the characters really stood out to me. The characters and their personalities bled together within the multiple POVs because their voices were just all too similar.

All in all, whilst this book was a quick read, it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. The plot was ok, but it was reminiscent of other booksI have read in this genre, and was executed as well as others I have read. I gave this book 2.5/5 stars.

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess


A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

Published: September19th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers

The magicians want her to lead. The sorcerers want her to lie. The demons want her blood. Henrietta wants to save the one she loves. But will his dark magic be her undoing?

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the bloodthirsty Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own.

So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

I’ve had this book sat on my shelf since it came out – so when I saw someone I knew reading book 1 and enjoying it, I decided it was about time to pick up book 2. I really enjoyed this instalment and I am definitely looking forward to the next book.

This book starts off where the previous left off. I liked the fact that not a lot of time had passed between the end of book 1 and the start of this one because there wasn’t a lot to catch up on. It was easy to remember what had previously happened so it was easy to follow.

Having said that, it took a little while for me to get into.I often felt that the beginning of the story felt a little disjointed and jarring in some places. I didn’t feel that the events joined together in a manner that flowed well for the first two chapters and it really affected the way in which I connected to the story and the characters in general. After a few chapters, the flow sorted itself out and it became easier to really get lost in the story and the characters.

Loved reconnecting with Blackwoods character. It was really interesting watching him develop throughout the book, whether it was good or bad. I liked watching the moments where he acted like his dad and how he handled it. In the first book, Blackwood was a relatively closed off character and I liked watching him begin toped umpire towards Henrietta and the connection that he felt toward her, even if she didn’t see it herself at the time. It was interesting watching his character develop – even if there were moments where he acted like his father.

I did find myself screaming at the characters. I wasn’t a huge Rook shipper, in either the first booker this book. I felt that Rook was more of a brotherly kind of character andI didn’t seem with Henrietta in any kind of romantic aspect… I just wanted to push him out of the picture.

I also enjoyed the fact that we got more of a backstory in this book. It was great to see how the monsters cam into the world ad how all of the characters were linked before Henrietta’s time. I liked the way in which the story started to come together, but in a way that kept the main elements of what we have already learned, but also introducing new elements to the backstory which kept it interesting.

I had guessed a major plot point before it had happened, but it didn’t detract from what had happened at the end and how it all came together. I liked the end and the way in which the characters and their connections really began to come to light and I am looking forward to seeing how things will continue in the next instalment.

All I all, I really enjoyed this story and I am looking forward t the net instalment. I loved the plot and the character development in this bookend I am really looking forward to seeing how develops in the book – especially after the ending! I have this book 4/5 stars.

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Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk


Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk

Published: January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen


The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

NOTE: I received an ARC copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.

I am going to be honest and say that I don’t really know a lot about the Spartacus legend, except the fact that he was a gladiator and the whole I AM SPARTACUS shenanigans. I liked the fact that I went into this not really knowing much about the original because it meant that I could see the story with a fresh pair of eyes, rather than constantly comparing it. I really really enjoyed this story, even though it had a bit of a slow beginning.

As mentioned, the beginning was a little slow. Whilst there was a lot of action in the first couple of pages, the pacing of the book dipped a little after that and it needed some time before the pacing was really fitting with the book. There were times at the beginning that were slow and where I had to push through a little bit, but it was definitely worth it. When the pacing and the events of the story begins to pick up, it was impossible to put the book down! I had to know what was going to happen next and I was not let down.

This story is also told from the perspective of two characters – Xanthus and Attia. I loved seeing this story from both their PoVs because they were both a huge part of the story. Both characters were unique and had their own voices, so it was easy to keep track of which PoV I was reading at any given time. I probably would have preferred to have had some sort of header (Xanthus, Attia) when the PoV changes because it changed at random moments and from paragraph to paragraph depending on what was going on at the time and it was sometimes a bit confusing to be reading from the PoV of one character, to then switch to the next with no real warning.

I LOVED the world building! I honestly felt like I could have been in Rome/Pompeii (depending on where they were) at this particular point in history. I could easily imagine the rich families and their slaves, the gladiator fights etc. No matter how often I put the book down, I was always sucked right back into it when I picked it up again and it was easy to get lost in it. I also liked the fact that the author kept things in keeping with the history of the Roman times, as opposed to changing things up to make it more appropriate to the YA genre.

Another thing the author did well was to create a slow burn romance, as opposed to the insta love trope. A lot of YA Fantasy novels fall into the insta love trope and it often ruins that part of the story because it just doesn’t fit. Wyk did a great job of building up the trust between the two characters and watching things slowly unfurl. Both characters were naive when it came to love and it was cute to watch both of them try and tread the waters around it, whilst not trying to scare off the other one.

As mentioned above, I don’t really know a lot about Spartacus and the original legend. I do, however, know that in the original legend, Spartacus was male. I enjoyed the fact that Wyk has taken the legend and turned it around by gender reversing Spartacus. I loved the way she used the history of Rome and the way in which they saw women, and used that against some of the characters in the way in which they viewed/thought who Spartacus was, because they never suspected anything. It was a great representation of gender reversal and I am looking forward to seeing where Wyk is going to take it in book 2.

I also just want to quickly mention the ending. I don’t to give any spoilers away, so this may seem really really vague, but for those of you who have read it, will understand. I feel that the way in which the book ended was a little pointless? I don’t feel that things needed to go down the way it did with certain characters, and I feel that it was more used as a plot device to spur another character on, rather than something that probably should have been emotional for the reader. I am hoping that a huge twist is going to come some time in book 2 (which is actually what I believe is going to happen in book 2), because, if it doesn’t happen, I feel that what could have been a really emotional ending was pretty much ruined.

All in all I absolutely loved this story! The world building was rich and magical and I am so excited for book 2 (why do I have to wait so long?). I am so excited to see where the characters will end up going and what is going to happen next. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

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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 feel free to add your link to the comments so that others can see what you picked! 

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! My son is finally getting over the fever he’s had since Tuesday – which meant that I was in the house for most of the weekend! I managed to get a book finished and start a new one… but more on that at a later date 😉

This weeks pick for me is a book that I recently discovered and one that was also recently released. The subject matter is something I find morbidly fascinating – especially when it based on a true story, like this book is!


No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear

Published: November 14th 2017 by Soho Teen

Amazon: No Saints in Kansas

A gripping reimagining of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and the brutal murders that inspired it

November is usually quiet in Holcomb, Kansas, but in 1959, the town is shattered by the quadruple murder of the Clutter family. Suspicion falls on Nancy Clutter’s boyfriend, Bobby Rupp, the last one to see them alive.

New Yorker Carly Fleming, new to the small Midwestern town, is an outsider. She tutored Nancy, and (in private, at least) they were close. Carly and Bobby were the only ones who saw that Nancy was always performing, and that she was cracking under the pressure of being Holcomb’s golden girl. The secret connected Carly and Bobby. Now that Bobby is an outsider, too, they’re bound closer than ever.

Determined to clear Bobby’s name, Carly dives into the murder investigation and ends up in trouble with the local authorities. But that’s nothing compared to the wrath she faces from Holcomb once the real perpetrators are caught. When her father is appointed to defend the killers of the Clutter family, the entire town labels the Flemings as traitors. Now Carly must fight for what she knows is right.

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Instagram/twitter/Goodreads/Litsy – @Lauren’s Page Turners

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 feel free to add your links to the comments.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! This weeks pick for me is the first book in a series that I have been eyeing up for a while now! It sounds really interesting and I hope I can get to it soon!


Jackaby by William Ritter

Published: September 16th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.


Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats and Weaponry

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Published: November 14th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style—with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

No one suspected what—or who—they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

I think this was my favourite instalment so far, purely because I feel like it was more plot based rather than character based. With the first two books in this series, I felt like everything happened too quickly at the end and it all wrapped up a little too nicely – I wanted it to be dragged out a little more and that is exactly what I got in this book!

Whilst the book was more plot based, there was still some character development going on. We got to see more of Felix sort of half way through the book and, where I quite liked him as a romantic interest in the previous book, I don’t really see him this way anymore. I was worried we weren’t going to see much of him in this book because there wasn’t much detail given on the letters they were sending back and forth,  but I am glad that we were re – introduced later. I do feel like he showed his true colours in a sense and, whilst they could maybe be friends, I don’t think he would be a good fit for Sophronia in the end.

I liked the development of the plot in this book! I feel like things started much earlier and they were also dragged out to give us more information and action – which I felt was lacking in the first two books! I loved watching Sophronia solve the issues at hand and to get around the issues the group were having as a whole. It was definitely more action packed and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the final instalment! I am a bit worried that it won’t wrap up nicely in the last book because I do feel like they have a lot to do before the issues will be solved. I guess we shall see!

I would have liked to have seen/heard more from Lord Akeldama. Aside from what we learnt in the previous book when we briefly saw him, we only really see him sending gifts to Sophronia. We do learn what he wants to a point, but I would have liked to have seen him at some point or maybe have more detail on the letters that were sent etc.

I was happy to see more of the dewan, though. I am definitely interested to see how Sophronia’s relationship with him will develop in the final instalment after that ending. I do like him as a character, despite the fact that he is a bit rough round the edges and I am definitely looking forward to getting to know him better!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I am definitely looking forward to the next one! I am glad that it decided to focus on plot development, rather than character and I’m interested to see how this is all going to wrap up in the end! I gave this 4/5 stars.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette and espionage

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for years now. I added it to my TBR way back when because I absolutely loved the cover and I thought the synopsis looked quirky and fun! Whilst this book was a light, quick read, I felt like it was at odds with itself sometimes.

I loved the MC! She was fun and a complete misfit – and thats what I loved about her. She didn’t fit in and conform to what society expected of her and whilst it bothered her in some aspects, she was still true to herself and she had fun doing it! She made friends easily, whether they were upperclass or lower-class and she treated everyone fairly – no matter what class! She did make some improvements in the sense that she learnt social etiquette… along with espionage techniques, but ultimately, her personality stayed the same!

I also really enjoyed the relationships that Sophronia had with the other girls in the school. I liked the way her friendships came about! I would’ve liked to have seen more of the rivalry between Monique and Sophronia because I felt like it came on pretty suddenly from being something that was relatively petty! I also really liked Dimity! She was a fun and quirky character and I definitely feel like she added a certain light heartedness to the book.

I often felt like the book was at odds with itself. It was steampunk, set in Victorian era. It took me a while to get used to the robots in a victorian setting, and I felt like it didn’t fit sometimes. I also felt like the language didn’t always flow and sometimes it was more modern and then it would switch back to old fashioned language. I also felt like the girls were too modern… if that makes sense? I felt like they were the kind of girls you would see today and then they would say or do something that would transport them back and put them into the right characteristics of being from the victorian era. All in all, I felt like the book criticised itself throughout.

All in all, I had fun reading this book, despite its flaws. It was a quick and quirky read and I am really looking forward to starting book 2! I gave this book 3/5 stars.

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess


A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Published: September 20th 2016 by Random House Publishing BFYR

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

I have had this book on my TBR since this fist time that I laid eyes on it on another blog somewhere. I absolutely loved the cover and the story sounded really amazing! Whilst I did enjoy myself reading this book, I definitely felt like the book lacked that extra something something that would have set it apart from everything else and would have really made the book great.

I like Henrietta. She was definitely a fire cracker, despite the kind of society that she lived in. I loved the fact that she always stood up for what she believed in, even if it went against the norms of society. She was fiercely loyal and protected those who needed it most – and didn’t differentiate between blood. I did feel sorry for her in the sense that everyone wanted something from her and she was constantly being forced to give give give – it was understandable that she snapped the way that she did!

I really did like all of the boys… until true colours started appearing. I think despite Blackwood’s standoffishness, I think he was my favourite one out of all of them and he was definitely the truest one out of all of them! I was not expecting what happened (I don’t want to say too much) and I hated the fact that one of them did what they did! I’m also just going to say Agrippa… I feel like anyone who has read the book will know what i am talking about! For those of you who haven’t – tough cookies!

Sooooo…. The romance bit of this book (which, admittedly, wasn’t a very big part of the plot) was a bit hmmmm. There is Rook (who, by the way, I not too sure of because of his… condition) who I definitely do not ship. For me, because I know that Henrietta and Rook grew up together, I don’t feel that romantic spark between them? For me, he was more like the brother – one that you would always protect and he you, without things ever getting romantic or awkward! Magnus, again, best friend material – sorry, but you have been officially #friendzoned! Especially after what happened after they all went to the theatre! For me, my ultimate ship in this series has to be Blackwood and Henrietta! I am hoping that this is what happens in the series and I will be seriously miffed if it doesn’t!

Also, can we just mention the plot twist galore and the ending? This, for me, was where the book got really exciting! The book was fun, but it was really missing something most of the way through… until we got the the plot twist! I am sure you who have read already know what I am talking about! I absolutely loved it and from there on in, it got heated and battle like and I swallowed it all up whole! I absolutely loved the ending, and it has definitely pushed me into wanting the second book that tick quicker!

All in all, I enjoyed myself reading this book, but I definitely feel like it needed something more throughout the book for it to be set apart from its counterparts in the fantasy genre. I am still looking forward to book two, though (which, by the way, has the MOST AMAZING COVER!!!!!). I gave this book 3.5/5 stars.

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Hey guys! It is time for another WoW! This weeks pick is the sequel to a book that I really enjoyed and I cannot wait to follow these characters and find out what happens to them!


Now I Rise by Kierstin White

Expected Publication: June 27th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

I really enjoyed And I Darken and I cannot wait to read this instalment in the series!

What books are you guys waiting on? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Hey guys!! It is time for another WoW! So, my add link button isn’t working for some really weird reason, so this week, the links are missing!! I don’t understand why it is no longer working… it just isn’t!

stalking jack the ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Expected Publication: September 20th 2016 by Jimmy Patterson

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story of Jack the Ripper has allays interested me – especially because there are only theories as to who it was!! Like the Queen’s Dr, for example! I cannot wait to dive into this book and see what the author has done with this piece of history!!

What are you guys waiting on? Feel free to leave links and comments and I will check them all out!