Thursday, November 3, 2016

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews - Review

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

Another romping Kate Daniels story. I liked the escalating tensions between Kate and her father and by proxy, Kate and her own magical potential. I thought that we saw more development in her character in this installment than in previous ones, as well as more interactions with the secondary characters. The conflicts with her father, her ancestors, and the prophecy that surrounds her really amped up the action and excitement. 

I think that the ending seemed a little rushed, and the cavalier way in which Kate approaches everything took away from the story a little bit. The stagnancy I've felt in the series recently was gone, though I started to notice it a little more towards the end, when I felt the climax of the story was played down a bit. While Kate's character is always a joy, I feel like the stakes were raised and her response seemed a little unbelievable. I wish that the final battle and the weight of the prophecy held a little more sway over plot and character development, but overall, readers get exactly what they came for: a hilarious, exciting, magic-filled Kate Daniels adventure.
** I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **
Find out more about Ilona and her works here:

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored three NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, and paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy. They are also working on USAT bestselling series Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at

Happy Reading!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Bloodsworn by Erin Lindsey - Review

The bonds of family, love, and loyalty are pushed to their limits in this thrilling conclusion to the epic saga started in The Bloodbound...

As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to its conclusion, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, the unbreakable bonds of blood...

Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear.

Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If any one of them fails, Alden could be lost—and, even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear...

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was a good conclusion to the series but strong in it's own right. It was filled with action, adventure, and a touch of magic. Alix is as always such a strong heroine, and in this installment she and her husband Liam must go separate ways in order to save the kingdom.

It was interesting seeing Alix interact and work with a new group of people and see Liam have to take up the helm of political leader. The story was romping, and while I found the plot to meander a little bit, if was fairly well paced. The tension was high for most of the story, so I missed a little bit of the humor found earlier in the series, but the stakes were high and all the characters had to rise to the occasion. The world continues to become more developed, as do all the characters. 

I really enjoyed this series and thought Bloodsworn was a wonderful ending to an exciting, action-filled, romantic series.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Check out Erin and learn more about her books here:

Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. The Bloodbound series is her first effort. She divides her time between Brookyn, NY and Calgary, Alberta. She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fallen Off the Face of the Earth


Long time, no read.

Sorry I've been MIA. It's been a busy month and I was going through some personal stuff but don't worry! New reviews and such are coming! Promise! My To-Read pile is out of control so it's only a matter of time before I explode with reviews of fantastic books.

See you soon!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall of Thrones and Thorns by Jennifer Ellision - Review + Giveaway!

War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.

After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.

And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.

The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.

Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.

In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.

And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.

----------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Fall of Thrones and Thorns! I love this series and could not wait for this last book.

Fall of Thrones and Thorns starts off right where Riot of Storm and Smoke left off. This review won't include spoilers, so I won't give too much away, but book 3 really delves into the internal conflicts that have plagued Bree since revelations in book 1. I loved watching her character grow and how she approaches all these huge decisions before her. While she acts a little immature at times and seems to make some poor choices, I really enjoy her as a character and as a young woman trying to do right by her own morals while also trying to save and help all those around her.

The world is made even bigger and new characters are introduced. I loved seeing more of Nereidium and learning more about other cultures. The difference between it and Egria are vast and conflicts of family and loyalty are brought to the forefront.

While lots of things happen in this book, the emotional journey of Bree is really at the center, her emotions and decisions related to all the turmoil in Nereidium and Egria (along with her merry band of pals). It's really a story of people trying to combine who they want to be with who they have been told they are and the difficulties with that identity.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting, the world continued to develop, and tensions between family, friendship, and potential romance worked well with the political conflicts. While Bree and her friends sometimes act a little immature and some things didn't end as neatly as I was anticipating, this book is a satisfying ending to a romping, magical adventure.

For fans of the previous two books in the series, or for readers who enjoy action-packed fantasy with a hint of romance, this is a must read. I'm so happy I came across this series on a whim years ago and with where the series ended.

Find out more about Jennifer and her books here:

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea, as well as the New Adult contemporary novel, Now and Again.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Sight by Chloe Neill - Review

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both...

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

This is a great sequel to The Veil. I'll be honest - I forgot most of what happened in book 1 and wasn't sure how much I could truly get into the sequel. However, Chloe Neill immediately drew me back into Claire's world and I was hooked (once again).

The characters continue to develop, especially Claire and Liam, as the stakes are raised with a violent and ignorant group hell bent on destroying The Zone and New Orleans. Different characters rise to the forefront throughout the story, revealing more about their own pasts but also the pasts of humans and Paranormals. The world continues to get bigger and more complicated and mysteries are solved only to reveal more questions. Readers are given hints to Claire's parentage and her own abilities, as well as the pasts and potential of her friends and cohorts. The book is incredibly well paced, full of action, humor, and a hint of romance. The action scenes really left an impression for me as being exciting, well written, and still contributing to the overall story and character development. As more and more information about Paranormals and the world they left behind is revealed, tensions rise in New Orleans and Claire seems to be at the center of it, willing or not. I can't wait until the next installment.

** I received a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **

Find out more about Chloe Neill and her books here:

Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Devil’s Isle, Chicagoland Vampires, and Dark Elite series. She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When not writing, she bakes, knits, Pins, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Chloe is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Happy Reading! 


Saturday, September 3, 2016

September TBR

These are the books that I already own that I plan on reading. I also plan on reading all the books on the September Releases list from yesterday! EMPIRE OF STORMS YOOOOOO

(I want to read this before the movie comes out!)

(I really enjoyed the first one so I'm looking forward to reading the sequel!)

(I have heard good things!)

(I need to finally start and finish this, goodness gracious.)

Friday, September 2, 2016

September Releases

These are books I'm looking forward to releasing in September!





Happy Reading! 


Friday, August 26, 2016

An Open Letter to Sarah J. Maas (and everyone else)

So I have a lot of feelings. 

Empire of Storms, the 5th book in my favorite series, is coming out soon and some stores put it out early (lol and that mistake bookstore in O'Hare). And there are a lot of angry people out there mad about people posting spoilers, which isn't what I want to discuss. (My opinion on THAT, real quick, is post it carefully and know where not to look but also don't get mad if someone posts a picture of the FIRST PAGE?! That literally reveals no new information whatsoever?!)


This is an open letter to Sarah (and other writers and kind of to myself?).  Because she's a wonderful and hilarious person who (hopefully) won't even need to read this because she's a badass and knows how great she is. But in case other people are frustrated, and just to sooth my soul, I wanted to write this. 

Dear Sarah, 

I love that you love Legolas. I love that you are a nerd. I love that you posted this story you loved online and people liked it enough for other, more powerful people, to see and want to publish it. I love that you dressed up the first time I met you at ComicCon and you were so excited about EVERYTHING. I love that you are open with how your friendships have changed you. I love that you write characters that I love, and if I don't love, I respect. Obviously, I love a lot that you do. 

I love that you continue to write stories from your heart and soul. I think once at ComicCon or somewhere you called Throne of Glass "the story of your heart, while ACOTAR was the story of your soul" (sorry if I got that way wrong). A lot of people on Twitter are upset with you because the story is not going as they wanted. And while everyone is entitled to their opinion, their hurtful words do nothing more than attack an incredibly talented person for writing their own story, the story of their heart. Disclaimer: I love your books because I think they are well written, with interesting and ever developing characters, with a fearless look at sacrifice and stakes, and developed and interesting world. The guys are cool too, I guess. But it's not the honest reviews or critiques that get me. It's not the story or writing for some, and I'm super okay with that. It's the hateful words over character relationships that irk me. It's the ones that, in a very hurtful way, say "I know better.". Well, in my opinion, no one knows (or should know) better than the writer. 

So while this is a letter to you, I guess this part can be to any and all authors. As an aspiring writer myself, the scariest part is putting your work out there. I was terrified giving my half-assed stories to the 12 people in my creative writing class, none the less a story I loved to thousands of people I don't even know. So kudos to you, for even doing that. Kudos for writing a story you needed to write. Kudos for writing a story YOU loved. People become so invested in a story and a world and characters that they feel some sort of ownership over them, which isn't always a bad thing and I personally think is a tribute to the author and the storytelling. 

But in the end, it's all yours. 

And while your monetary success relies on the people reading, while, perhaps even more importantly, you are a storyteller and want your words to reach people, only YOU know the story you are trying to tell. Sometimes parts of it are scrapped, sometimes parts of it are changed, sometimes parts of it are there from beginning to end (kind of like a person). Sometimes it goes in a direction you didn't want, despite the fact that it's yours (kind of like your life). It keeps you up at night and makes you pull your hair out in frustration and causes you all sorts of emotional and physical pain (kind of like a relationship). But it's yours. And most likely, it's developing the way it is for a reason, whether that be personal or otherwise. And. It's. Yours.

You probably already know this. There has been all sorts of chatter since Heir of Fire, as if you were somehow purposely not doing what fans wanted, somehow rebelling against what the story truly wanted, somehow blind to the story's truth (lol). Hopefully none of the negativity bothers you, even if it reaches you. Hopefully you can sit with Annie and Susan Dennard, watching The 100 or something on TV and cackle at people who are so upset things aren't going their way. But just in case you do see it or it does reach you: It's yours. And I think it's that ownership and growth and change - and sass and hot guys and hilarious characters and hot guys and strong female protagonists and hot guys - that makes the series great, makes it my favorite. 

TLDR: You're amazing. Keep on keeping on. 


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne - Review

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

This is a hard one. One, because it's not a novel, it's a play. Two, because it's Harry Potter - beloved, crazy-fandomed, loved-by-most-of-the-world Harry Potter. And three, because it's a play about Harry Potter. But I'm going to try so here it goes.

I can already see why some readers won't like this. It. Is. Not. Like. The books. Looking at it in comparison to the novels, the story is rushed, some key characters and points are left out, and Albus appears to be grossly underdeveloped.


I think it does a great job emulating and expanding on the stories - it reimagines who Harry and Draco (whose character becomes so important towards the end of the original series) could have been. Really, it explores what could have happened if Harry was sorted into Slytherin. What if Harry allowed his anger and his hurt to rule his judgements and relationships? What if Draco didn't bend to the pressure of his power hungry, cowardly father? How do the choices we make, both internal and external, effect everything and everyone around us?

I think the Cursed Child does a great job in telling a completely different kind of story with the same message. Both Harry and Albus feel alone and misunderstood. Albus is flawed and makes a crap-ton of (really big) mistakes. He's prideful and reckless and doesn't think things through. He's angry. But he's also young, and learning. He doesn't judge people by their legacy (like Scorpius), since he can't figure out how to grapple with his own, much like Harry doesn't judge Ron for being from a meager family. He gives in to the darker side of his nature because everyone expects him to be good, while Scorpius is the opposite, because everyone expects him to be bad. Lily's love was a very particularly kind of sacrificial love, and both Albus and Harry have to learn that there are different ways to express themselves. Growing up is hard, and so is parenting, and the world often isn't fair.

The play itself is a wild ride. No spoilers, but the way the plot moves is kind of hard to understand when you read versus when you watch (I'm assuming). The writing is pretty good, though it didn't seem particularly original to me, and the way the characters plunk along is similar to the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione survived, but if Hermione basically wasn't there and Harry and Ron were stumbling about trying not to die.

The reason why I didn't walk away being like "awww man, really??" are Albus and Scorpius. They are so perfectly depicted as these two boys who feel alone and suffer from this extreme pressure of their parents' legacies. They are both great depictions of complicated kids grappling with who they are, who society things they should be, and who they want to be. I think it brings up great conversations on the lasting effects of trauma, dealing with depression, and trying to find and create your own unique identity, at any age.

If you are even a little curious, I suggest reading it. As a play, it goes by quickly, and as long as you go in knowing it's not going to be the 8th BOOK, but rather secondary exploration of Harry's legacy, I think it's a story worth reading if you are a fan.

Find out more about the author here:

Happy Reading!


Thursday, July 28, 2016


Sorry I've been missing. In July I started at the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver and been getting back in the swing of being a student ie. relearning how to function with stress, little sleep, and poor eating habits. So instead of anything related to books, here are some pretty pictures from Colorado. 

In other news, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is out soon. Yay!

Happy Reading!


Friday, July 15, 2016

A Massive Post of Random Stuff I've Recently Read

A while ago I was in the mood to read a New Adult sports romance, one of those $0.99 - $2.99 books from Amazon that's 250 pages of abs, kissing, and drama. Little did I know I would go on the great sports romance binge of 2016 and leave a sea of digital book carcasses in my wake. Here is a list of the books I devoured (and liked!) during this great and troubled time. 

Happy Reading!


Friday, July 1, 2016

GIVEAWAY! The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Hey guys! 

So I ended up with two copies of The Raven King so I thought I'd give one away! Enter below for your chance to win. :)

US Only (sorry!)

Happy Reading!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye - Review

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

 ---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

So I finished The Crown's Game at 12:30 this morning. I'm going to try and get my feelings down, though they might be indiscernible and make no sense. So get ready. 

First of all, I absolutely loved The Crown's Game. If you like V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, you will love this book.

The world is incredibly vivid and rich with both Russian culture and history as well as Evelyn's own unique touches. The characters are complex and interesting. The magic and lore is fascinating, not so complex that it takes a lot of thinking but explained in such an ethereal, mystic, almost natural way. I liked that it was this natural force, interwoven in the country and the people themselves.

Overall, I thought the story was great. Some people might find some of the angst - the love almost at first sight, the secrets surrounding the Game, the mother/son father/daughter issues - to be a little trying. It's really the only reason I'm not giving it 5 cupcakes. These things didn't bother me, probably because I was expecting it from the beginning and I enjoy those plot points in a fantasy book like this, but some may find it too predictable/expected.

The real star of this book (as it should be I think?) is the magic and the tasks that Vika and Nikolai undertake. They make the plot move well both in conflict and it aesthetics - the way that each character plays with magic, the way that their magic is described, and the way their magic interacts with one another, is gorgeous and visceral. The tasks and their use of magic reveals so much about each character, whether it's Vika and Nikolai fighting for the right to live, their competitive mentors Sergei and Galina, or the flighty and restless prince, Pasha. Much like the magic flows throughout the city and both enchanters, it plays with the reader's senses - each turn is filled not only with grandiose, stunning visual acts of power, but also quieter, gentler gifts, as if the book in itself was one of the moves in the game, a thing of power and beauty and magic.

The book as a whole was a journey. Pasha, Nikolai's best friend and prince of Russia, is always searching for an adventure, and this story is a great one. While I predicted the end of the book about halfway through my reading, it didn't dull the feelings of apprehension, adrenaline, and wonder when I reached the end. The Crown's Game is filled with magic, power, and heart and I can't wait (I CAN'T WAIT) until the sequel, The Crown's Heir, coming next year.
Find out more about Evelyn and her works here:

Happy Reading!