Review | Five Seven Five by C.E. Wilson

Five Seven FiveTitle: Five Seven Five (The Boy with Words #1)
Author: C.E. Wilson
Release Date: November 18th, 2015
Publisher:
 Self-Published
Genre:
 YA, Fantasy
Pages: 214 (Kindle)
Rating:
 3/5

White Frost has only known the darkness.

Luckier than most, White’s cousin provides her with what seem to many as little more than scraps of paper, but they hold deep secrets. The papers he provides are cryptic collections that hint at a world beyond dusty hallways and candlelight. These words give White hope that she can be one of the great people in her colony. A Chosen One. A member of a group of the strongest people who are allowed to escape the darkness and venture out into the Unknown. At eighteen years old, White is too young to become a Chosen and decides to take her cousin’s advice and wait patiently. But when a tragedy upends her life, White realizes that if she wants to truly understand what the mysterious words on paper mean, she’ll have to go beyond every boundary set by her society – including ones set by her own cousin.
When White finally decides to seek the truth, what she finds is more astonishing than anything her cousin could have prepared her for. Blinding light. Colors beyond black and gray. A world where tears fall from the skies. And an incredible being who may or may not be the Creator of it all.

Everything she’s ever wanted is right in front of her, but this information comes at a price White is not sure she can pay. She has always suspected that her hunger for knowledge is simultaneously her greatest strength and weakness, and now she must ask herself if the answers she sought are worth endangering not only her life, but the lives of everyone she’s ever known.


This was quite an interesting story. There were a few things that didn’t quite make sense, but for the most part, it was a good read.

I really liked how the main character, White, was curious and ambitious regarding the outside world that the Chosen Ones were constantly venturing out into. I loved seeing the world through White’s eyes – it was amazing to see everything described in such exciting and unique ways. Reading the passages where White was seeing and experiencing something brand new to her were definitely the best parts of the book. Wilson’s writing style made these scenes really beautiful.

I wasn’t a fan of Salt, or even Shade for that matter. Both of these male characters seemed to just be really condescending towards White. That, and the fact that neither of them seemed to have much personality, made me not really like them all that much.

I did really like Kaz, though. At times, he did seem a bit overly nice and a little bit too perfect when it came to dealing with White and her people. He did balance Salt out pretty nicely in that regard, I suppose.

I thought the haikus were really nice, but, for some strange reason, I was really bothered by the fact that the pieces of paper should have been massive for White. Like, they should have been nearly half as big as she was. But that’s neither here nor there.

Overall, though, this was an entertaining story and I’m interested to see what happens in the next and final book in the duology.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

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Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

acotarTitle: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher:
 Bloomsbury
Genre:
 YA/NA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 419 (Paperback)
Rating:
 4/5

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


I was a little nervous about reading this book because I’m not usually a fan of faeries, but I definitely had nothing to worry about. The writing in this book was, in typical SJM style, absolutely gorgeous.

For me, the highlights of this book were the strong, beautiful writing, and the expert world-building. I’m really intrigued by the intricacies of the faerie lands that we were shown just a small section of in this book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’m looking forward to seeing that other court that Feyre will supposedly be spending a bit of time in during the next book…

One of the reasons I didn’t give this book five stars was that the characters felt cliche and familiar. A lot of the time, Feyre seemed a lot like Celaena from Throne of Glass; Lucien seemed very similar to Dorian, too. Don’t get me wrong, the characters were great and had plenty of personality, but they were just a little unoriginal. It also took me awhile to actually like Tamlin – he had the whole pained immortal thing going on, and it reminded me too much of Edward Cullen.

The second half of the book, where Feyre finds out a lot about the High Fae and all the politics and such, was rather interesting. Though I was a little disappointed to find out that it was a ‘chosen one’ situation with Feyre and Tamlin. Also, the trials were a little underwhelming – they were exciting, sure, I just expected more. And don’t even get me started on how easy that riddle was.

As I mentioned earlier, one of my favourite parts of this book was the world-building. SJM is great at building worlds. Everything we needed to know was revealed slowly and deliberately – there was very little info-dumping to be seen. Some of the descriptions of the Spring Court were simply gorgeous and extremely vivid, so that was a definite highlight of this story.

Basically, this was a great book, though it didn’t necessarily blow me away with it’s originality. I mean, I know that it was a retelling of sorts, but the cliche characters let it down a little. I know I’m giving a lot of criticisms, but overall, I really enjoyed this book. SJM has a writing style that I absolutely love, and she is definitely a wonderful storyteller. Since I didn’t have many expectations for this book, I wasn’t too disappointed as a whole. Criticisms and all, I still really enjoyed it and I’m super excited for the sequel!

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Review | The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live HereTitle: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Release Date:
August 27th, 2015
Publisher:
Walker Books
Genre:
YA, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Rating:
4/5

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. There were a lot of pretty average reviews floating around. I thought it was actually a pretty good book. Not amazing, but definitely good.

I loved the relationships in this book, particularly those of the main group. They were all so comfortable around each other, which was really fun to read. However, they weren’t without their troubles: there were quite a few things that the narrator, Mikey, had to work through with many of them.

I really liked the character development of Mikey. He was struggling with a lot for most of the book, so it was really nice to see him make a conscious decision to make an effort to be happy.

“If you heal all that stuff, I’ll live the rest of my life not knowing if I could have figured it out on my own.”

I must admit, the story was a little lacking. There just wasn’t much going on. I do understand that that’s probably the point, that these guys are just trying to make it to graduation while all the ‘indie kids’ are off trying to stop the apocalypse. It’s a good thing that I like the characters and their relationships, because that’s pretty much all that was going on.

This was quite a nice story – it was fun to see the story from the POV of those not in the thick of all the chaos. This is the first Ness novel that I’ve read, and I really enjoyed his writing style, but the story and plot left a bit to be desired. This book is quite a quick read, so I’d definitely recommend it to people who read urban fantasy, as it is a fun way to see what happens to those on the sidelines.

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

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Review | Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry OnTitle: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date:
October 6th, 2015
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre:
YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 522 (Hardcover)
Rating:
3.5/5

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.


I really struggled to get into this book. There was so much hype and excitement and praise for this book that I couldn’t help having fairly high expectations. I must say, I was quite disappointed. I found the first half of this book to be really slow and, if it was any other book, I might have DNF’d it. It definitely wasn’t all bad, though! I actually really enjoyed the second half.

I think the main redeeming factor of this book for me was Baz. I had a hard time liking most of the characters, but I loved reading about Baz. Most of the time, I got bored reading Simon’s chapters. I’m not sure why I didn’t like Simon, I just didn’t – maybe he was too dull? I found Penelope a bit annoying, and Agatha was just exhausting. So yeah, the only really good character for me was Baz. It’s probably to do with the fact that I love sarcastic characters, and Baz was exactly that. He was delightfully passive-aggressive, yet up front, and just overall really fun and interesting to read about. I must admit to getting excited when the next chapter was from his POV.

Now, with the story itself, I had a hard time getting on board. When I was reading Fangirl, I thought that Simon Snow was in place of Harry Potter, until it was revealed that Harry Potter also existed along side. I hate to say it, but Carry On felt a bit like a tacky version of Harry Potter. At least to begin with. The magic system was pretty average, and then the whole ‘magic school’, well I don’t need to explain that, do I? I will say, though, that once I got further into the book, I did begin to appreciate this world as it was, instead of comparing it all the time. I came to understand why they used the magic words that they did, and it is quite cool. I think if I were to read this book again, I would definitely appreciate it more.

I wasn’t really a fan of the climax of the story. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, to be honest. I won’t say too much because of spoilers, but it seemed a bit forced. I did like some of the stuff leading up to it, though, like the chapters from Lucy’s POV.

By far, my favourite aspect was the romance – I still think Rainbow Rowell does romance really really well. I loved seeing Simon and Baz’s relationship develop in the second half of the book, though it did feel a little rushed. However, because this book is set in their eighth year at Watford, and they’ve known each other that whole time (and we were given a few little insights into some of the time), I’ll let that slide. But, yeah, I got a lot of warm fuzzies reading about these two.

I’m not saying this is a bad book – I would have given it a much lower rating if I thought that – I just think that fantasy isn’t Rowell’s strongest suit. I do think this book is an interesting take on the long fantasy series – by just cutting to the end of the overarching story, we get to see the characters as who they’ve become, without having any past bias. Overall, I loved the relationship between Baz and Simon, and how these characters developed through the book. However, I didn’t enjoy everything else nearly as much.

I’m sure most have you have heard of this book, so I’m not saying don’t read it, but maybe don’t have such high expectations. I went in with quite high expectations because of all the praise I had seen and I was disappointed. If you approach it with more realistic expectations, you may enjoy it more than I did. Who knows, maybe you’ll absolutely love it and disagree with all my criticisms >.<

If you’ve already read Carry On, what did you think of it? Did it match up with your expectations?

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Review | Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (et al.)

Even though I think Cassandra Clare is milking this Shadowhunter universe for all she can (maybe more than she should?), I’m still a sucker for these stories (and I low-key hate that I still love this universe so much).

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Now that all 10 of the short stories that make up Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy have been released, I’m posting short reviews for each of them. I wrote these reviews after I read each story, and before I read the next one (generally).
I’ll try to keep spoilers for both TMI, TID and this series to a minimum.


#1 – Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from Shadowhunter Academy #1)Release Date: February 17th, 2015
Co-Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Read: September 12th – 13th
Rating: 4/5

After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

I like that we get to see things from Simon’s POV, especially after what happened to him at the end of City of Heavenly Fire. I thought there were a few things that showed a bit of lazy writing (why was George so afraid of the possum at the start to the point where he said that Simon was their only hope?), but I can mostly forgive this due to the short-story format. There was some nice character development from not only Simon, but a couple of the new characters as well. Overall, this sets up the series of novellas really well.


#2 – The Lost Herondale

The Lost HerondaleRelease Date: March 17th, 2015
Co-Author: Robin Wasserman
Read: September 13th – 15th
Rating: 4/5

Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived… could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

I loved the story about Tobias Herondale, and the idea that there may be another line of Herondales out there. It was also really nice to see some interaction between Simon and Catarina.
I found the scene with Simon and the vampire girl to be quite forced and awkward. The same goes for Isabelle’s cameo, too.
I’m getting kind of sick of Simon’s constant self-pity and him always saying he’s not the same Simon that everyone knew. Like, yes, we get it. You don’t remember all that stuff. Doesn’t mean you have to be a dick to all the people who know you.


#3 – The Whitechapel Fiend

The Whitechapel FiendRelease Date: April 21st, 2015
Co-Author: Maureen Johnson
Read: September 27th – October 1st
Rating: 4/5

Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the previous two. I liked that we got to see what Tessa and Will and gang were up to, but I though the whole “Jack the Ripper was actually a demon” thing was a little strange. Most of what I enjoyed about this story was the stuff that was happening at the Academy. I really loved it when Jace showed up, and seeing his and Simon’s relationship develop was cool. I thought ending where Simon wrote the letter to Isabelle was also really sweet.


#4 – Nothing But Shadows

Nothing but ShadowsRelease Date: May 19th, 2015
Co-Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Read: October 2nd – 4th
Rating:
 5/5

Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

I loved this one! It followed James Herondale (Will and Tessa’s son), through his first year at the Shadowhunter Academy. I thought James was a really great character, and I loved seeing how he dealt with his father’s popularity. I also really enjoyed reading about a lot of the other students that were there. Most of all, I loved seeing how James met his parabatai, and how their relationship grew. This one is definitely my favourite so far.


#5 – The Evil We Love

The Evil We LoveRelease Date: June 16th, 2015
Co-Author: Robin Wasserman
Read: October 18th
Rating:
 3.5/5

All evil starts somewhere, and Simon Lewis learns how The Circle—led by Valentine Morgenstern—began. 
The Shadowhunter Academy has only just reopened following the disastrous rise of the Circle. Now the faculty can finally admit to what happened when Valentine was a student.

This was my least favourite so far. It was set at the end of Simon’s first year at the Academy, after all normal classes had finished. Enter Stephen Lightwood as a guest lecturer, with his trusty sidekick, Isabelle. Stephen told the students his story of the early times of the Circle. To be honest, it didn’t really excite me. Stephen was a rather annoying character, and I just didn’t really enjoy those parts of the story. I did like the parts that followed Simon, as he tried to deal with his idiot classmates. I also loved the small progress that was made between him and Isabelle.


#6 – Pale Kings and Princes

23381006Release Date: July 21st, 2015
Co-Author: Robin Wasserman
Read: November 5th – 8th 
Rating:
 5/5

Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

I loved this one! It’s the shortest of the stories so far, but I really enjoyed it. I really like Helen as a character, so it was great to see her pop up. Also, there was a breakthrough with Simon and Isabelle’s relationship, so that was also really great. I loved reading about the Blackthorn brothers, and about Mark and Helen’s mother, and how all that came about.


#7 – Bitter of Tongue

Bitter of TongueRelease Date: August 18th, 2015
Co-Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Read: November 18th 
Rating:
 3.5/5

After Simon is kidnapped by faeries (why is he always kidnapped?), he uncovers rumors of a secret weapon Sebastian left behind for the faerie queen. He must escape the Fey, relying on his only ally, former Shadowhunter and Dark Artifices character Mark Blackthorn.

It was really nice seeing what happened to Mark after the last story featured Helen. I’m not a big fan of the faeries, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the other stories. I like that we’re seeing how Simon is growing as a warrior, considering he’s been at the Academy for over a year at this point. I really liked the ending of this one – it was very sweet.


#8 – The Fiery Trial

23381009Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Co-Author: Maureen Johnson
Read: November 18th 
Rating:
 5/5

Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates.

This one was great! It was so nice seeing Simon and Clary together -I love seeing how their relationship has become strong again. I really liked that we saw Catarina with Magnus and Jem. Also, the mention of Will was absolutely adorable. I loved seeing Julian and Emma become parabatai. I’m actually looking forward to reading more about them in The Dark Artifices.


#9 – Born to Endless Night

Born to Endless NightRelease Date: October 20th, 2015
Co-Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Read: November 24th 
Rating:
 5/5

Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

AHHHH! This one was so adorable – definitely one of my favourites! There was so much beautiful fluff, and everything was perfect. I was really glad that Alec and Simon talked to each other about what happened before Simon lost his memories. Most of all, though, I loved Magnus and Alec and how they make such a perfect family. Oh, also, I loved that Robert and Maryse stopped being so uptight, and were actually being nice people.


#10 – Angels Twice Descending

Angels Twice DescendingRelease Date: November 17th, 2015
Co-Author: Robin Wasserman
Read: November 24th
Rating:
 5/5

Simon’s journey to become a Shadowhunter nears its end as his Ascension ceremony draws closer.

OH GOD. WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT?

UGGHHH that was such a beautiful ending! Though brief, I absolutely adored this final story. While there was something that happened that I really wish didn’t, I had kind of expected it (though I’d hoped I was wrong). It is painfully typical of Cassie Clare to have something turn horrible when it could have been so perfect!

I loved seeing the depths of the friendships that Simon had formed while at the Academy – I do hope some of these characters (Marisol and Jon!) make a cameo in some of the future novels.


So there ya have it, that’s what I thought of each story that makes up the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy series. Overall, I really enjoyed this series. If you’ve read The Mortal Instruments, I would definitely recommend you check out this series. I imagine that, like The Bane Chronicles, these stories will be published as a single book shortly.

I’ll finish this post with what a think is a nice quote from the final story:

“The point wasn’t that you tried to live forever; the point was that you lived, and did everything you could to live well. The point was the choices you made and the people you loved.”

Review | Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of MidnightTitle: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date:
August 15th, 2013
Publisher:
Bloomsbury
Genre:
YA, High Fantasy
Pages: 418
Rating:
5/5

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


This book was such a wild ride. I absolutely loved every second of it, though. I thought it was a incredible follow-up to the stunning Throne of Glassand now I am well and truly hooked on the series. You guys weren’t kidding when you said the series got better after the first book!

Throughout this whole book, I was completely enthralled with the story. I loved learning more about the Wyrdmarks and all the other things that Celaena discovered. I’m glad we’re starting to get a lot more information about this ancient magic, and I love finding out all the little intricacies as they come to light. There were so many twists and turns, and the detail and thought that Maas has put into this world is incredible.

The character development in this book was really interesting to read; there was a lot going on for all the main characters. I noted in my review of Throne of Glass that I thought Celaena didn’t seem as tough as she ought to be, considering she’s this notorious assassin. In this book, we certainly saw just how lethal she can be, and the many scenes that showcased this were written beautifully. I loved seeing this darker side to Celaena, and it made her feel a lot more real. Now, don’t even get me started on my darling Dorian and his surprising/amazing/perfect character arc.

I absolutely loved seeing Celaena and Chaol’s relationship blossom, though some of the earlier parts of it seemed a little sudden. But I guess it does make sense because this book starts two months (I think…) after the end of Throne of Glass. Though I believe Celaena had been away for quite a bit of that… Anyway, it just seemed like, in the first book, there wasn’t a huuuge amount of whatever going on with them, so I guess it felt a little hurried. Regardless, I thought it was adorable.

I thought the twists in the story were great, though I did predict the last one. The other big one was a total surprise, though. I can’t wait to see how it all begins to unfold in Heir of Fire! Overall, this was a great sequel to Throne of Glass. I’m annoyed that it’s taken so long for me to read this series. In my defence, though, I only heard about it around 6-7 months ago when I started getting into Goodreads. I’m really glad I read The Assassin’s Blade before reading CoM because there were quite a few mentions of things that happened in those novellas in this book. So yeah, if you haven’t yet read the ToG series, I very strongly recommend you do!

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Review | The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

The Casquette GirlsTitle: The Casquette Girls
Author: Ayls Arden
Release Date:
November 17th, 2015 (originally published October 31st, 2013)
Publisher:
Skyscape
Genre:
YA, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 565
Rating:
5/5

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.


Wow. What a journey this book took me on. I absolutely adored all the complex history that was woven within the story, and how the characters tied in with one another. Set mainly in the French Quarter of New Orleans after a horrific hurricane, simply known as the Storm, it follows a teenage Adele Le Moyne as she returns to her city to find almost everything destroyed.

Man, where do I even start with this book? Basically, I loved everything in it. There. Review done, yeah?

Okay, for real now. The legends in this book are so intricately wound, that it’s hard not to feel completely submerged in them. I loved how the past and present was so expertly connected, and how it was slowly revealed throughout the book just how related it really was. The pacing of the book was excellent, as I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next little morsel of information to be revealed (while still trying to make my own guesses (which were often wrong…)).

All the characters in this book were amaaazing! As it got further into the story, more bits of information about many of the characters were revealed, leaving a whole lot of really developed characters. That’s another point, actually. Quite a few things that happened earlier in the book that seemed a bit random, out of place, or even completely pointless, totally ended up making sense later on, which shows a lot of writing skill, so I applaud Arden for that.

This book had such an intriguing storyline that it was very hard to put down. The paranormal element mixed really well with the urban setting, and all the past/present links matched up perfectly to create a truly exceptional story. This is a really well-constructed book that any reader can easily love.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Review | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of GlassTitle: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date:
August 2nd, 2012
Publisher:
Bloomsbury
Genre:
YA, High Fantasy
Pages: 404
Rating:
5/5

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?


It’s been awhile since I’ve read this kind of story, and I’ve definitely missed it. This is a great high fantasy book, packed with heaps of action, a bit of romance, and a whole lot of sass.

I loved so many characters in this book! Celaena was an incredible lead character, though I thought she should have been a little tougher, particularly at the start, seeing as she’s an assassin and all. Regardless, I thought her development throughout the book was great, and I really grew to love her.

I loved Celaena’s relationships with Dorian and Chaol. Both characters were very different and complex, and unique in the way they interacted with the assassin. It’s hard to choose who I think Celaena should be with, because they’re both so lovable! Both of the relationships developed in really natural ways, so it made for a good read.

I couldn’t really find any major faults with this story, to be honest. I’m sure there are some, but I was so caught up in the exciting story, that I didn’t really care. I had read a review where someone was sick of reading about how pretty Celaena was, but I didn’t really feel like it was that in-your-face.

I’m glad I caved into the hype surrounding this book, because I really did enjoy it. If you’re one of the (seemingly) few people who haven’t yet read this book, I’d definitely recommend it. If you like any type of YA fantasy, you’ll likely enjoy this book.

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon

Series Spotlight | The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Author: Michelle Paver
Publisher:
Orion
Released:
2004-2009
Genre:
Children’s, Fantasy, Adventure, Pre-History
Number of Books: 6

Set 6000 years ago in Stone Age Europe, the series follows Torak, Renn, and Wolf. At the beginning of the first book, Torak is alone after his father is killed by a demonic bear that is terrorising the forest. It isn’t long before Torak stumbles upon Wolf, a recently orphaned cub, with whom he can communicate (having spent around three months in a wolf den as a baby). Torak and Wolf eventually meet Renn, a girl from the Raven Clan, whom they soon befriend. Throughout the series, the trio (among other things) aim to defeat the Soul Eaters, a group of former clan mages who have turned to evil, and who seek to control the forest.

I’m not really sure why I decided to spotlight this series, as it’s been between six and seven years since I read the books (and I’ve been planning on re-reading them for the last three years). I do remember that it’s a really good series, though. Michelle Paver put in a lot of research regarding the Stone Age, and fauna and flora that would have been in Europe at that time. The historical accuracy of the books is insane and has apparently been recognised in archeological circles.

Aside from all of that, I really love all the main characters of these books. The story is told from the three perspectives of the main characters (including Wolf!), favouring Torak’s POV. I can’t remember specifics, but I know that many of the characters are very complex for a children’s series, and all very loveable. The chapters from Wolf’s POV are always very interesting and fun to read.

The premise is very unique and thoroughly encapsulating. The whole world feels very real, which has a lot to do with the description of everything. Due to Paver’s knowledge of the era, everything from food to animals to plant life is described in incredible detail. All that information was so thrilling to me as an 11/12-year-old, and I’m sure older readers would love it just as much.

While I can’t remember many details from this series, I get a feeling of great love whenever I think about it. Though I have many books on my TBR, I still really want to get around to re-reading it as soon as I get the chance. No doubt, when that time comes, I’ll be posting reviews 🙂

Anyways, though this is technically a middle grade series, it doesn’t really feel like it. I highly recommend you give it a shot, as it really is a great story.

The first book can be found here:

GoodreadsAmazon

Review | The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

The Journal of Curious Letters

Title: The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality #1) 
Author: James Dashner
Release Date:
March 3rd, 2008
Publisher:
Shadown Mountain
Genre:
YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages:
432
Rating:
3/5

What if every choice you made created an alternate reality?

In The Journal of Curious Letters, Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day he receives a strange letter informing him that dangerous— perhaps even deadly—events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. Tick will be sent twelve riddles that, when solved, will reveal the time and place of an extraordinary happening.

Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues and discover the life he was meant to live?


I really liked the premise of this book – the idea of alternate realities is truly fascinating. However, quite a few aspects of the story just didn’t click with me.

First and foremost, I found the writing style to be quite juvenile. For a book about intelligent people, I felt that this could have and should have been avoided. Now, I understand that this is supposedly geared towards the younger end of the young adult genre, so I’m not the intended audience, but I do feel that Dashner could have gained some older readers if the book didn’t feel like it was for the 9-12 market.

I found the character of Sofia, another thirteen-year-old who has been receiving the letters, to be rather infuriating. She was portrayed as a tough yet endearing young girl, but she just came of as mean and annoying. Throughout the book, she was constantly claiming to be of superior intelligence to everyone else, as well as holding her social status above the others. Like I said, she was annoying.

The overall story was interesting enough that I wasn’t bored while reading it. It didn’t thrill me, or keep me on the edge of my seat, but it was good. I guess I was expecting something stylistically similar to Dashner’s Maze Runner series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Anyone around the ages of 10-14 (give or take a couple of years) will probably be more likely to enjoy this series.

I wish I’d found out about this series four or five years ago, when I probably would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. It has the action and adventure that younger readers would definitely love, and a great father-son relationship that a lot of kids would be moved by.

For me though, I probably won’t continue reading this series, as it just doesn’t resonate with me.