Book Review- Queen of Shadows

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* This review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire

 

Queen of Shadows by  Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 1st, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 648
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Amazon

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

I’m having a hard time writing this review because of how much I loved the book.

You know when something is super amazing and it’s just too hard to find the right words to describe it? Well that’s this book. And pretty much every book in this series. But I’ll try….

Okay, so I’m gonna start from the beginning. Aelin is on her way back to Rifthold, leaving Rowan (who I LOVEEEEEEEEE) behind. AND SHE MISSES HIM AND IT’S SO CUTEEEEEEE. Also everyone is kind of in trouble because the King is evil and Perrington and the witches etc. etc. etc.

This book is pretty different from the first three for a few reasons:

1) Celaena is now called Aelin (something I thought would really annoy me but actually it’s kind of perfect because it’s like a whole different version of her and kind of perfect okay I’m going to stop now but I think you get the point).

2) There are more serious romantic relationships. Yeah, I know, I know, Chaol and Celaena in Crown of Midnight… but this kind of takes it to a new level. And there is a lot of NSFW scenes, which (despite me not liking romance-y books) were kind of perfect and adorable.

3) There is a lot more of a “resistance”/”rebellious force”. As in there is an actual group of people going against the King and hunting the Valg and stuff.
There are other things that make it feel a little different too, but those are the main things.

Like I was kind of saying in the first paragraph of this review, I love this book. There is no one thing that makes it great, but rather just the perfect balance of character driven and plot driven events, and how somehow there is so much going on yet it is easy to understand and it is just A GREAT STORY. It’s so entertaining and it just draws you in and doesn’t let go.

If you haven’t read this series already, please believe the hype. I stayed away from these books for so long because I was like “no way that can be that good” AND THEN THEY WERE THAT GOOD. Like yeah, they aren’t for everyone, but still. It doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

I am going to give Queen of Shadows five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Heir of Fire

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway ending TODAY!!

This review contains spoilers for Throne of Glass (book 1) and Crown of Midnight (book 2).


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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 2nd, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 565
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Amazon

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Before I read this book, I was told by a few people that it “wasn’t quite as good as the first two”. I disagree. I thought, if anything, this book was even better.

Celaena is broken. Nehemia is dead, her relationship with Chaol was shattered, and now she was sent North to the very Aunt that her parents tried to keep her away from. Even worse: she is forced to train and use her magic if she wants to have an audience with her Aunt.

Then there is Rowan. I happen to love him, even if he is a jerk throughout the first half of the book. Rowan has gone through just as much heartbreak as Celaena, and their relationship evolves beautifully (once you get past the beginning, but even that is necessary for what comes next).

Chaol and Dorian are back in Rifthold, and have challenges of their own. Also, Manon Blackbeak is introduced: the Heir of the Blackbeak witches. She is cut-throat and ruthless but also awesome. I didn’t really know how to feel about her at first, but I’ve grown to love her as much as the other characters in the book.

This book is certainly action packed and emotionally loaded, and if you’ve read and liked the first two books-Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight-I definitely recommend you continue the series!!

I am going to give Heir of Fire five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Crown of Midnight

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway going on now!

Also this contains spoilers for the first book, Throne of Glass (see my review for that here)


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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 418
Goodreads
Amazon 

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion-yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

One of the worst things in the world is Second Book Syndrome (aka when the second book kinda sucks compared to the first). BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

There is so much going on in this book. Celaena is now the King’s Campion, and is sent out to assassinate people that the King wants to get rid of. Chaol is fighting his feelings about Celaena’s new role: he is both repulsed by her actions and feeling things for her he didn’t think were possible. Dorian, who also doesn’t love the idea of Celaena’s new role, is getting over her and trying to find a way back into her life as a friend.

This book is packed with action, and balanced out with the connections between the characters. The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is beautiful and heartbreaking, and Celaena’s relationships with Chaol and Dorian are also beautiful and hearbreaking.

Actually, beautiful and heartbreaking sums up the whole book pretty well.
AND THEN THE ENDING. WOOOOOAAAAHHHH. Not gonna give spoilers, but even though I already knew the “major reveal” at the end, it still was a huge moment and all I can really think to say about it is “WOOOOAAAAHHHHH”.

If you read Throne of Glass and liked/loved it, I highly recommend continuing the series!!

I am going to give Crown of Midnight five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Throne of Glass

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass Giveaway going on right now!!


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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 2nd, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 404
Goodreads
Amazon

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

This book blew me away.

From the first chapter I was swept away by the story and the characters and the vivid imagery. Celaena is taken from the salt mines of Endovier, where she was kept as a slave for a year, to the royal palace, where she is forced into a competition to be the champion for the King. I know some people have an issue with Celaena’s empty threats and lack of action, but I actually liked that. It showed me a lot of who she is as a character: she has a quick temper and even at her worst she still wants to fight.

All of the characters in this book were so dimensional and intriguing. They each had their own unique voices, and I had no problem differentiating between even the smallest of characters. I loved Dorian and Chaol especially, and they both were such strong characters, yet in very different ways.
Another thing I loved about this book was even though there were some “romancy” moments and plot lines, there was no “insta-love” or anything like that. What romance there was was very organic.

I honestly would recommend this book to everyone. It’s a book that I went into thinking I wouldn’t enjoy at all, and then loved more than I thought was possible. I know that this series is super hyped up (another reason why I put off reading it for so long) but  THE HYPE IS REAL GUYS. IT’S REAL.

I am going to give Throne of Glass five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mini Reviews- The Selection Series

Hey everybody!

I’ve read the Selection Series* multiple times, and I honestly have no idea how I haven’t reviewed them on my blog yet?! Especially because my latest re-read was in June of this year (and it only took 2 days).

*It’s important to note that I am only talking about the original trilogy… not The Heir or The Crown

My reviews are all spoiler free, but if you haven’t read the whole series yet, you might not want to read the reviews for the second two books (unless you want to know some of the stuff that happens in the selection… then be my guest!)

Some quick facts:

Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: April 24th, 2012 (The Selection); April 23rd, 2013 (The Elite); May 6th, 2014 (The One)
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia
Synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Goodreads: The Selection, The Elite, The One
Amazon: The Selection, The Elite, The One

So let’s get started!

Book 1- The Selection

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The Selection is exciting from beginning to end.

American Singer doesn’t want to be a part of The Selection. She doesn’t want to marry Maxon and become the Princess. But her love for Aspen accidentally gets her thrown into the world that she so desperately wanted to avoid. And then the unexpected happens: she likes it. Dun dun dun….

This is definitely one of the more “trashy” YA books, but it is SO GOOD! This is a great book to read when I need to get out of a book slump, and it’s a quick read too!

I love America as a character. She is strong willed and hilarious, and has a deep appreciation for food that is all to relatable! And, what I love even more: she loves and wants to support her family. Oh, and both her parents are alive (unlike So. Many. Other. YA. Books.).

There definitely is a love “triangle” (angle? idk) going on in this series, but it doesn’t annoy me as much as they usually do. America’s feelings are valid. And she’s not wishy-washy (for example, she doesn’t say things like: “Oh I like Asher, but I like Maxon, oh my gosh what am I going to do? My life is so hard. Boo hoo”).

Overall, this book is just plain amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a cute, quick read (although you’ll probably want to pick up the next book right after you finish this one!!), and anyone who loves dystopia and romance!

I am going to give The Selection five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book 2- The Elite

16248068There are only 6 girls left in the Selection. Tensions are high, and the stakes are even higher.

America needs to choose: Aspen, the boy she has loved for years, or Maxon, the Prince she might love.

The Elite is full of drama, both from The Selection, and from the Rebel threat that seems to grow with every day. This book is just as exciting and fast paced as the first one.

As America begins to take on more duties in the palace, she also begins to learn more about what the Rebels want and what her connections are to their goal.

If you read the first book and loved it, I definitely recommend you continue the series! You won’t be disappointed!

I am going to give The Elite five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book 3- The One

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There are three girls left in The Selection, and the time has come to choose a queen. America Singer knows that Maxon loves her, but before she commits to the crown, she has to sort out her feelings. Does she love Maxon, the prince who has snuck into her heart, or Aspen, the boy she has loved for years but broke her heart?

Meanwhile, the Rebel attacks are getting worse, and America is caught up in the middle of it. She discovers that she is connected to the rebels in more ways than one, and she uncovers secrets about her country’s history in the process.

The One is a stunning conclusion to The Selection trilogy. It is fast paced and exciting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very last chapter!

If you have read The Selection and The Elite, I highly recommend you read the conclusion!! Also, if you haven’t read this series and love YA dystopia/romance, try it!!

I am going to give The One five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Have you read this trilogy? What did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!!

Book Review- Wait Till Helen Comes

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Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Published by Harper Collins on November 2, 1986
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 184
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Amazon

Beware of Helen…

Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we’re stuck with her…our “poor stepsister” who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.

But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home — a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond…to drown! I don’t want to believe in ghosts, but I’ve followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I’m terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather…

Wait Till Helen Comes is spooky, haunting, and an all around amazing ghost story.

I love the complexity of this novel. It is so short and easy to read, yet there is so much emotion packed into it. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because it would give away too much of the plot, but the way the plot progresses and changes is amazing. Every scene is important and interesting, and I love how the tensions between the characters change and shift as the novel moves forward.

The protagonist, Molly, and is only 12, and is the oldest of the three kids, so this book does feel a little young. I remember reading it for the first time when I was 8 or 9 and loving it. So it’s not necessarily a book aimed for older teens or adults. But, reading it now, I found myself enjoying it just as much, even though I remembered what happened.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good ghost story. This one is timeless.

I am going to give Wait Till Helen Comes five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Book Review- Little Monsters

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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
Published by Delacorte Press on July 25th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
Pages: 336
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Amazon

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

OH GOSH. Where to even start?

This book was NOTHING like I was expecting… in the best way possible.

I honestly had no idea what to think of this book. I had never read anything by Kara Thomas before, and I’m really not the biggest fan of Pretty Little Liars (which this book is “for the fans of”). I don’t know what prompted me to pick it up, but I am so glad I did.

Okay so this review is probably going to be a little ramble-y (like all of my reviews…) but I’m still in so much shock after reading this that it is a little hard to form coherent thoughts.

EVERYTHING about this book was amazing. From the scheming to the mystery to the reveal at the end. I was thrown in a loop so many times that it baffles me. There was just enough realness in the story to make it seem 100% real, like I was reading a true recounting of something that happened far away in Broken Falls.

The characters in the book were SO COMPLEX. I was surprised by them at every turn. The secrets and the jealousy. The backstabbing and the ulterior motives. What was even more scary than the eventual truth that came at the end was how hard it was to hate any of the characters. Even the characters who did awful, terrible things.

The plot of this book was incredible. That’s the only way to describe it. I’ve never read anything like it, and all I want is more. More, more, more.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously. Everyone can take something away from this.

I am going to give Little Monsters five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Haunting the Deep

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Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather
Expected publication by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 3rd, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 368
Goodreads
Amazon

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

After being surprised by how much I liked How to Hang a Witch (read my review here), I jumped at the chance to receive this book from a fellow blogger. I was excited to dive back into the magically spooky world of Salem, and join Sam and her friends on their next adventure.
I was not disappointed.

This books picks up 6 months after the first book ends. Sam is dealing with the fallout of the events (which I will not spoil, incase you haven’t read the first book yet… which you totally should), and staying as far away from the descendants, and magic, as she can. Then she starts seeing spirits again. Spirits from the Titanic.

The mystery of this book kept me guessing until the very end. I didn’t see any of the twists coming, and honestly it was so exciting! I read this book in one afternoon because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next!

I also loved how much more developed the characters seemed in this book than the first one. One of the biggest problems I had with How to Hang a Witch was how all of the characters felt like children… even the adults. In this one, although I got glimpses of that same problem, the characters felt much more mature and true to who they were supposed to be. It was easier for me to get lost in the story because the inconsistencies were almost gone.

I loved the feeling of this book too. It was easy to read and light, but at the same time it was so full of emotion and excitement and mystery and intrigue.
I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a good spooky story. Both books are great reads!

I am going to give Haunting the Deep four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Dreamology

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Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Published by HarperTeen on April 12, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 336
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Amazon

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

This book made me SO MAD. It was infuriating to the point where it became an almost hate-read. Honestly I don’t even know where to start with this one. UGH.

Okay, firstly, the characters were awful. Alice was SUCH an idiot. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and tell her to stop being so stupid. I mean honestly, how is it possible to have that little common sense? My gosh.

And Max. UGHHHHHH. He was so annoying. I honestly hated him as a character. I hated his relationship with Alice. I hated everything about him. Actually, I really didn’t like any of the characters. They all were so unrealistic and annoying and infuriating.

Phew. Okay. So secondly, can we just talk about how UNREALISTIC the whole situation with the dream-doctor guy is? I don’t know if this counts as spoilers or not (it probably does, so if you haven’t read this and don’t want to know some of the goings-on in the middle of the book, you might want to skip ahead), but seriously the whole dream/experimenting thing is illegal in like 10 different ways. Both Max and Alice are under 18, but still the doctor guy is like “oh yeah just come in and don’t tell your parents and we’ll experiment on you guys.” WHAT THE HELL. THIS IS SO STUPID. AND THEN NOTHING EVEN HAPPENS TO THE DOCTOR BECAUSE OF IT? HE SHOULD BE IN PRISON AND UNLICENCED. And then, not only does nothing happen because of that, but he gets in trouble for PARROT TRADE?!?!?!?!? WTF. UGHGHGHGHHGHGGHHGHGGH

Thirdly, I HATE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN THIS BOOK. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF THEM.
Honestly I am just so mad at this book. And the whole reason for Max and Alice being in each other’s dreams was idiotic. What an anti-climax.

I just had so many problems with this book. So. Many. Problems.

I can’t even. Ugh.

I am going to give Dreamology one out of five hearts.

Book Review- Hunting Prince Dracula

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Expected publication by Little, Brown on September 19th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Pages: 448
Goodreads
Amazon

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favorite books, so when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Hunting Prince Dracula (through a trade) I was over the moon!

Hunting Prince Dracula was every bit as dark, spooky, haunting, and swoon worthy as promised. Audrey Rose and Thomas travel to Romaina, only to find there is a murderer on the loose, and the dead bodies are drained of blood.

I loved this book, but not quite as much as I liked the first one. There were some things throughout the book that put me a little off (nothing major or worth mentioning, but still, every once in a while I would pause and go like “what? why would you put that in there? That does absolutely nothing for the plot/characters/novel at all”). But I was able to get past that pretty easily, and it didn’t really bother me that much.

As in Stalking Jack the Ripper, I picked out the killer the first time they were introduced. Literally the second that character met Audrey Rose I said to myself “and there’s the killer.” I only doubted that thought once in the book (which was some pretty good plotting on Maniscalco’s part), but in the end I turned out to be right.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes spooky, thrilling, mysterious, or gothic/dark books. These are amazing!! I honestly can not wait for the next book to come out (and this one to come out so more people can read it!), and I’m going to spend every second from now until the title is announced trying to guess just what legend Wadsworth and Cresswell are going to be chasing next.

ALSO THE SWOONS GUYS. SO MANY SWOONS I DIED.

I am going to give Hunting Prince Dracula four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥