Jessica Rules the Dark Side Was Good!

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It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is —and whom she can trust— before it’s too late? (From Goodreads)

I loved the first book and the second one lives up to it (thankfully!) what I really liked about this one while reading was Jessica’s development as a character grows up. Dramatically. Considering she now has to rule and take Lucius place due to the circumstances she had to learn how to take control and she does it gracefully.

The plot itself wasn’t so bad although there could have been more substance to it. The reader already has a hunch as to who is behind the entire plot – a little mystery would have been appreciated and would have kept the plot a little more exciting. So the predictability of it sort of dampens the enjoyment of the book.

Nevertheless it’s the characters that keep the book going. Jessica and Lucius still have that great chemistry together. It’s the light banter Lucius has with Raniero that was also fun to read throughout the story.

Fun to read and it’s light, worth the time – from what I know there’s no more after this one. So to give the duology a nice closing, it’s a good one. (A story about Mindy would be great though.)

Bonus points to the cover. Love it!

I give it an 8 out of 10

 

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Nikolai Seems the Better Catch ….

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Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (From Goodreads)

***Spoilers ahead, you have been warned***

You’d have to read Shadow and Bone to read and understand Siege and Storm. Otherwise you’d be pretty lost as events follow up right after the first book.

The first half of the book was at a great pace and filled with lots of action, bombs, explosions, fighting, magic, all sorts of goodness you would expect for the second book to follow up for an excellent start in the first. It slows down in the second half of the book where preparations for encountering The Darkling are made and you have this whole drama with Alina and Mal going on;

Okay I was wrong about The Darkling. I was torn apart when he ended up being jackalope of the year and I was holding a banner of love for Alina and Mal.

Then Nikolai steps in.

Handsome, charismatic, swashbuckling, people sway to his beat Nikolai. I loved reading about him whenever he came into the picture. It’s like when your school crush comes into the classroom and you realize you’re going to share a table with him. That kind of giddiness is what Nikolai brings to the book.

I saw the chemistry with Alina and Mal in the first one, and it just falls apart here in Siege and Storm – understandably so as the dynamics have changed a lot and Alina has climbed up in the ladder of importance and Mal has suddenly fallen off the grid and is just considered a lowly guard of Alina the Sun Summoner. Which is pretty good right? You’re near the person you love and care about, you’re standing guard and you’re close by.

No. Can’t be that easy right? First Nikolai steps into the picture and is suddenly looking like a much better prospect and the drama with Alina looking for the Firebird to amplify her powers even more – the point where she becomes obsessed with it changes her personality and makes her more darker, assertive, and she’s not the girl we all once knew in the first book. I really love this personality change in her. There’s a slight whiny voice to it but she really steps up and grows exponentially as a character.

So I can see the romance aspect of the book falling apart, but at the same time you ask yourself is it really necessary? I can see the attempt at a love triangle with Mal and Nikolai with Alina in the middle but from what I see, she gets along fine with both of them, but does she really need one or the other as a love interest? I don’t see the chemistry there with either of them.

Sure, Alina still cares a lot for Mal but everything’s changed and it just seems like she doesn’t need romance..not yet anyway. Instead, the attempt at the romance is seen as two whiny people who can’t get their own way and they take it out on each other by indulging themselves on the road to self destruction. Again, that’s a very human trait and good on portraying that. The whininess though, I could do without. It caused unnecessary drama in the book, and endless of pages in the second half where the plot doesn’t seem to be moving forward or anywhere. It feels like an unnecessary filler.

The last third of the novel though did pick up the pace (did not make up for the whiny drama though) and provided a lot of the explosions and action you had in the first half. Not really featuring a cliffhanger ending, but it’s making me look forward to what I have to see in the third and final book of this series.

PS: My heart bled for Genya.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

 

This Savage Song is worth the hype

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Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (From Goodreads)

I didn’t know what the hype was all about until I saw the second book released just recently. Took out this book and in the first day I was half way through. It was addicting and it moved at a fast pace.

It took me a little long to warm up to these characters and the setting. The setting is interesting, with the three different groups of monsters infesting the area. There was some sort of catastrophic event and the area was split into two. I rather like the way the world is being set up in this case. We have monsters. Not vampires, or werewolves, or some other mythical creatures we are familiar with. These are different and nothing that I have come across yet in the novels I have read in the past. I rather wish there was more history in regards to world building. Or at least, a bit more information but it doesn’t deter the reader from enjoying the novel.

Kate and August are both great characters and opposites. Kate, who is a complete bad ass and August who is trying to fit in and be normal. I like them because first of all, they aren’t filled with besotted love like some YA novels have out there or worse yet, they fall in love and the world crashes around them. I’m glad this book doesn’t have any of that nonsense. They both use each other as a means to an end but they end up being unspoken friends despite their differences. What I like the most about these two is, they both exposed themselves to vulnerability to each other and learnt a lot from their respective groups.

The plot itself is very interesting and readable. The action is good and not over the top dramatic. The twist near the end is predictable but what you didn’t see coming is the ending and you’re left with either being blown away or….well there’s no other is there? You’re just straight out blown away.

Definitely recommended for YA readers. I’m off to get the second one. I enjoyed this book immensely.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Time for another session of It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

I didn’t have much reading time as I wanted to over the weekend. Yes, I did go camping with the family, I did get some pages in here and there (it didn’t feel like I got much reading but I was surprised to go through a good chunk of it). Yet it was nice just to sit under the trees and breeze and just relax and do nothing. Sometimes it’s good just to do that.

However I digress! let’s get back on track and read our hearts out! (click on picture will take you to their Goodreads page)

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I swear I. WILL. FINISH. THIS. I WILL! YOU CANNOT STOP ME LIFE!!! I took this one on my camping trip with me so I went through a good chunk of it. I’m down to the last 40 pages. I will get there. I will do this! so far everything is now coming to an end and all the loose strings are being put together. And Wow. Just Wow. I can’t wait to do my review on this one when I am finished.

 

 

 

 

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I’m a third into this book. So far so good. There’s an element of mystery in it which keeps me intrigued but I can’t help but love the innocent chemistry between Rosie and Peter and although it’s very small and nothing overwhelming has happened yet it’s slowly starting to grow and I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

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Love the cover of this one and can’t wait to start it. It’s been calling out to me and I haven’t gotten around to it. It’s about time I get started on some YA.

 

 

 

 

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Had this on my wishlist for a while now. The summary of it sounds interesting and this will be read following The Monster’s Daughter. I’m on a real good thriller kick and as long as this one is going to be good too then I’ll continue. Haven’t started this one either but I’ll get on it too.

 

 

 

So those are my books for the week! what are yours? 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

Library Loot Wednesday

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted  The Captive Reader and Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. 

 

 

Husband looks at the tower of books that seems to be growing every week.
“Did you go to the library again??”
Me: “Yeeesssssssss…”
Husband: “Okay…well, at least I’m not so poor that I’m not buying you so many books. At least you’re getting them for free.”
Me: *sighs in relief and grabs the most recent tote of library books to put on pile*
Husband just stares in amazement….

So! let’s see what I found this time around. Since I have 2 books that came in the mail to review I will have to set aside the library pile until those 2 are read and reviewed. Anyhow, let’s see what I found. Each picture takes you to their respective goodreads profile:

 

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That’s about it for now! what did you guys find ? let me know so I can stop by!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I can’t believe I fell for the Darkling…

0316182885.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSurrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart. (From Goodreads)

 

I was so immersed in the book I didn’t even realize what time it was when I was halfway (about 2 AM in the morning.) Yes it was that good. I loved everything about it.

The plot was fast moving and good – although it had some different elements, it is with the same template of: “Girl finds out she’s got extraordinary powers to make a difference in the world and is sent to a boarding school to enhance those skills”. Although it’s not any different from those types of books out there, the characters and the setting make up for it and provides an exciting read.

It seems like the language is based on Russian words (correct me if I’m wrong here.) With the terminology and setting loosely based on the language. I found this pretty interesting and fun to read, it certainly does provide a particular theme and flavor to the novel which adds to the joy of reading the book.

Character wise, I loved just about everyone in the book. Alina isn’t your typical character. She’s got a wry humor and has a tendency to be hard on herself. I really like her though. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s a tomboy, but when push comes to shove she can look like a girly girl and enjoy it if she wants to. Her character develops throughout the book and she goes through some real tough times. She’s not whiny about it but she takes it all in almost to the point of admitting self defeat. I actually liked reading this about her. It’s makes her more human.

 

*****spoilers below you’ve been warned*****

Now who to choose? Mal or the Darkling? I fell for the Darkling. I really did. I loved his mystery and his charm and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for falling for him as hard as Alina did. He just HAD to be the bad one. Well, sometimes we just fall for the bad ones don’t we? 😉

I liked Mal too though. He was everything you wanted in a guy friend about to be boyfriend. He was just as charming but he had the good boy persona on him. I’d have to say, Alina had some good prospects (if only the Darkling didn’t have such a horrible agenda.)

Overall I loved this book and I’m definitely going to grab the second one. Can’t wait to see what happens!

I give it a 9/10

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s always fun to see what other people are reading (and to make my wishlist grow to an even bigger list that I’ll probably never accomplish but it’s still fun!) anyway! I made some progress over my books over the weekend as I went with the family to a mini road trip to the Oregon caves and we stayed at a tiny little cabin and relaxed. There was no internet so it was the perfect time to disconnect and just read.

I think I bit more than I could chew (as usual.) I have started too many books and am nearly halfway on some, and started a few more here and there. Sighs. So. Let’s finish what we started then shall we?

What I’m currently reading this week (you can click on pictures to see more detail about them):

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What I usually do so I don’t get bored easily is read a different variety of books during the week. So it’s a blend of different genres. The Monster’s Daughter is set in South Africa and goes back and forth in time. I haven’t gone far enough to see how everything is put together but so far it’s caught my attention and there’s a murder mystery involved in it. It’s very different from what I usually read so it’s a good change!

 

 

 

 

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Ahhhh Book two!!! Adele and Gareth!!! squeeeeee!!! cats and vampires!!! I made the most progress with this book over the weekend. Love the fantasy/steampunk setting and the romance (even though I dislike romance) is sweet and not trashy. So much is happening here it was hard to put it down over the weekend. I’ll need to finish this one soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I started this one because I saw so much hype over the second book. It’s also one that I’m pretty much halfway on. It’s not bad, but I’m not gushing over it either like I am with The Rift Walker. I’d have to say though, Kate is one tough cookie. I rather like her but..she just tries too hard. I get why though. We’ll see where this one takes me.

 

 

 

 

 

These are my reads for the week! what are yours? let me know, maybe we’ll be able to add more to our lists.

Happy Reading this week all! 🙂