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.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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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
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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- 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
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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- 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
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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.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Gemina

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 608
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Amazon

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

After not really loving Illuminae (read my review here), I went into this with relatively low expectations. Maybe that’s why I liked this one so much more. Or maybe this one was really just that much better.

I liked Hanna and Nik a million times more than Kady and Ezra. They were more entertaining, more unique, and just better characters in general. All of the characters in Gemina were more dimensional than in Illuminae, even if they still were a little too similar for my taste.

The plot in this one was pretty similar to the plot in Illuminae, and none of the twists surprised me (not that they did in Illuminae…. you know what? I’m just going to stop talking about Illuminae now.), but I still found them enjoyable. Even though the twist in this one was more “out-there”, I found it much more believable and enjoyable (than Illuminae… Ugh why am I still talking about this? I’m hopeless).

I loved that in this second installment in the series, I could actually tell the difference between who the characters were, and it didn’t sound like they were all 12 year olds. It was great.

I would definitely recommend reading this one if you’ve read the first one (even if you didn’t necessarily like the first one… like me) because this was So. Much. Better. Like 10000% better. Also, if you like sci-fi, you should give this series a go. It’s not so bad after all. Also I can’t wait for Obsideo now!! If it follows this pattern of getting better, than it is going to be amazing!!

I am going to give Gemina four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

YA Series Recommendations- What are your favorite series? What series are not worth the read?

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Finding a new series to dive into can be a hard and daunting task. Series are a big commitment. They are scary. And more often than not, they get shoved down to the bottom of a TBR because who has time for that?

What are you talking about? Obviously people read series.

Obviously. But think about it for a minute: has there ever been a series that you put off reading for so long and then when you picked it up you were like “why did I wait so long to read this? This is amazing.” ???

If your answer is “no, does that really happen to people? Hah puny mortals.” then get out of here what are you doing you wizard/god

wait, actually on second thought please come back and teach me your secrets because I need them

But seriously, what is the purpose of this post?

Well:

We are gathered here today to join John and Jane in holy… oops.. wrong place

We are gathered here today to discuss great YA series and inspire each other to finally pick up that amazing series and stop missing out! I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite YA series, and then we can talk about them and you can tell me what your favorite series are and then we can all be sprinkled with pixie dust that will make all our responsibilities go away so we can read forever.

Or something like that…

So what counts as a series? Basically anything with more than one book. So douologies through 100 book series (if such series exist). Or at least that’s my definition of a series, so I’m rolling with it.

My YA Series Recommendations (in no particular order):

Anna Dressed in Blood (Duology) by Kendare Blake

I will never not recommend these books. They are amazing. The end.

Red Queen (Quadrilogy) by Victoria Aveyard

I’m not sure if this series is going to stop at 4 books, but that’s all I know of for now, and based on the ending of King’s Cage, I think the fourth (still unnamed book) is probably going to wrap everything up.

This series is one of my favorite dystopias, and I can not wait for the fourth one to come out! It is gripping and exciting. There are powers, princes, rebels, high stakes, and heart wrenching events. If you love dystopia, this is not one to miss.

Ruby Red (Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

I regard these books as the best time travel books to grace the planet. Good luck convincing me otherwise.

The Selection (Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

I adore everything about this trilogy. I know that technically The Heir and The Crown exist… but I don’t really consider them a part of this (do you?). Plus I’ve only read The Heir and I don’t really think it lives up to the glory of the original trilogy.

This series is so adorable and swoon worthy!! And it’s a quick read, which is always a plus!

Throne of Glass (6 books? 7? More?) by Sarah J. Maas

So remember in the beginning of this post when I said something about putting off a series for wayyyy too long and then being like “why did I wait so long?” Yeah so that’s pretty much this series.

I’m only on the second book as of right now, BUT ITS SO GOOD I HAD TO PUT IT ON THIS LIST. Seriously this writing is some sort of sorcery. Don’t deprive yourself of the amazingness.


Okay so that’s it for my list.

Are there more amazing series out there?

Obviously. That’s where you guys come in! I want to hear what your favorite series are!

28962906And, also, there are of course series that are just starting. As in only the first book has been published as of now. Like Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. SOOOO GOOD.

But I tried to only include complete or almost complete series on this list, so if anyone decides to start one of the series I recommend, you won’t be stuck waiting for the rest of the series to come out (which could take years).

Because binge reading rules!

But also support new authors. Because that is important.

But what about the series that are not worth the read?

Well, I’m sure that ever series has it’s fans. And, a lot of people like the series that I had a lot of trouble reading. But, here is a list of series that I could not get in to. Just remember that these are my opinions, and if you like any of these series that is great and I’m glad that you were able to find something in them that I wasn’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy) by Ransom Riggs

I don’t have anything against this series (I actually kind of enjoyed the first book… kind of), but I could never bring myself to pick up the second book. I just don’t think this series is worth reading.

Shatter Me (6 books) by Tahereh Mafi

I don’t want to say I hated the first book of this series….

A lot of people enjoy this series, but I can’t figure out why for the life of me. I just can’t stand anything about it.

Girl Online (Trilogy) by Zoe Sugg (Ghost Writer Siobhan Curham)

These books are the bane of YA. I don’t know why they exist. The first book was so cringey that I could barely finish it.

The Maze Runner (Trilogy? Not really sure at this point) by James Dashner

The Maze Runner was actually a DNF. I tried to read it several times and never got past the middle of the book. I watched the movie, too, just incase that would inspire me to finish the book… but I didn’t really like the movie either.


Anyway, that’s it for this post!

What are your can’t-miss YA series? What series are not worth the read?

Also: if you make a post similar to this one, link me in it so I can see it!

Thanks for reading!!