Whisper of the Tide

34519536Whisper of the Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser

4_stars

ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley for a fair review.

“A ship was not meant to sit at anchor in the harbor, and neither was I.”*

Join Caro as her adventure continues with the emparch, Markos, who is continuously being attacked as he attempts to get his country back. Caro starts to question who she is and her purpose as she struggles with the idea of being emparchess and parting with the sea. This swashbuckling romance will keep you turning pages to the very end.

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The Story

From the very first chapter till the end I loved following Caro as she discovers who she is and what she really wants to do with her life. I couldn’t help cheering Caro on while she struggled with her star crossed love life that just didn’t want to be harmonious with her sea life.

Even though much of the story the characters were struggling to just stay alive or were fleeing capture, the story still had a plot and direction. If you’re looking for an action packed pirate adventure then I would say check this series out. Between the love story, actual pirating, a treasure map, and being cast away on the island you are sure to be entertained the whole way through.

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The World Building

There is so much more ship jargon in this book. I loved it in the first book with the wherries, and I loved it again in this book. It’s not an overwhelming amount that if you don’t know the directions on a boat that you wouldn’t be able to understand, but having the language there helped bring the feel of the ship to life.

It was fun to learn a little bit more about the favoritism of the various gods, but not to the point that it took away from the adventure. I love that the ocean god has a snarky attitude that fits with Caro’s.

We also get a little bit of fun with more of the shadow magic through Kente (winner of cousin of the year for being so faithful to Caro). Though at times I thought the shadow magic ended up being a little too convenient, I appreciated that it wasn’t 100% fool proof and that there were still obstacles that interfered with it’s capability.

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The Characters

elizabeth GIFThis book made me want to watch the first two Pirates of the Caribbean’s. You know when they were still good. The dynamic of Caro and Melanos just reminded me so much of Elizabeth Turner and Jack Sparrow.

I thought their trust/hate relationship really helped drive the story along, as you tried to decide if Melanos was going to be a bad guy or not by the end of the book. I was a nice way to keep you on your toes.

Caro has this selfishness that she has to overcome where all her decisions seem like they’re about what’s best for Markos, but at the same time she just wants a bit of everything.  I loved that she just didn’t have everything figured out, and was willing to make some sacrifices in the end.

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The Soundtrack

Eisley – Currents

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*Quote is from an unproofed ARC and may be different or omitted in final print.

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Legendary

36329818Legendary (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

5_stars

But the best villains are the ones you secretly like, and my nana always said Legend was the villain in Caraval.”*

Now that Scarlet has won Caraval the sisters should be on their way to happily ever after. Unfortunately, Tella had made a bargain, and the lender is asking for Legendary’s true name. Now Tella must play her own round of Caraval to obtain his identity. Though she knows it’s just a game, this time it seems like it might be just a little too real.

I received a ARC via Netgalley for a fair review.

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The Story

I am going to admit that the first time I read Caraval I had some mixed feelings. The second time I was able to appreciate the whirlwind that it is. Legendary did not leave me questioning how I felt in the least bit. Despite that it took me a little longer than I anticipated, that was only due to a very busy and exhausting week. Regardless, This book captured my attention and I am here for it.

Where Caraval kept throwing wrench after wrench at us, it was due from the fact that so much could actually happen during the game. In Tella’s story she actually struggles to keep up with the game as well with the real life needs between her sister and her debtor. This added so much more depth to the story that made it much less about the game and more about the characters and what they were willing to do.

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The World Building

It was interesting to see how Garber expanded the world that Caraval takes place in. There really isn’t a large amount of political or worldly descriptions. But there is a lot of historical, mythical, and religious world building as the story revolves around the taro like cards for the Fates. I loved that each of the Fates had their own sinister powers that left room for desire. The fun part was how they were wrapped up in the fun of Caraval and Tella’s situation. I was very happy to see at the end of the book there is information about each of the fates as well.

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The Characters

I am going to admit here that in Caraval I was not a fan of Tella in the first book. She seemed like a flighty, selfish girl. In Legendary we are given the opporunity to understand why she acts a certain way and what is a major driving factor of her decisions. I thought this line described the sisters’ relationship so well

“Tella was the sister who would destroy the world if anything happened to Scarlett, but Scarlett’s world would be destroyed if anything happened to Tella.”*

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The Soundtrack

Alesso feat Tove Lo- Heroes

 

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*Quotes were obtained from an unproofed ARC and may be different or omitted in the final copy.

Wotakoi

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Wotakoi : Love is Hard for Otaku  by Fujita

3_stars

When childhood friends Narumi and Hirotaka run into each other as adults, it soon becomes evident that since they’re both adult otaku that they would make a good couple.

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The Story

So the story was quite promising for me. I thought it would be really cute to see two awkward characters navigate their relationship. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much about their actual romantic relationship that made me keep reading to see how they cope. Now it has been a few years since I was an avid manga reader/anime watcher. But I would have to say that I definitely focused on a lot of shoujo, slife-of-life, romance. So it makes me a little sad to say that this doesn’t have a lot of romance to it, and ends up really being shoujo, slice of life. Which in all honesty means it’s just little tid bits here and there but no real continuous story.

This first installment is mainly just about how the characters get together and the initial start to their relationship. All in all, not a lot really happens. However, so far, there are a lot of manga tropes happening that are sure to make readers happy. Some of these include BL/fujoshi, cosplay, and many old school anime references.

My question is, is it really enough to keep people interested? Where is the conflict that keeps the reader going from one volume to the next? Obviously so, since they’re making an anime out of it.

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The Characters

Aside from our stoic main male character and closet-otaku female character we are given two goofy side characters who are also in a relationship. While their relationship stems mostly of violence and arguing, it does add a little flavor to the manga itself.

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The Art

I think the real shining star for this manga is the art. With the larger bubbly eyes on the main female and the sleek slimmer features of the male characters, this manga is sure to draw attention to those in a post 2000 era. My favorite part might have been the clever in between chapter visuals that were provided, yes even the chibi versions. I am a sucker for chibi characters, they are just so darn cute.

For those not wildly as informed on Japanese culture as someone like me (studied Japanes, spent several months in Japan doing culture studies, as well as have been previously a minor otaku) they provide visual explanations at the end of the chapters explaining the references that go far more in depth than just the *foot notes that are included in scantalations.

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Song of Blood and Stone Blog Tour Review

Book Description

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Title: Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1)
Author: Leslye Penelope
Publish Date: May 1, 2018
ARC provided from St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for a fair review.

From Goodreads

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.divider

Review

2_stars

The Story

This book has so many good things about it, the problem I found is that I think having it all in one book ended up taking away from the importance of each issue. Racial, refugee/immigration, power struggle, star crossed love, magical, social status, LGBTQ, and even good vs. evil all became too many good ingredients in the pot. Truly, there was so much good stuff in here, but I thought that they didn’t get the time spent for each attribute that it should be due. Although they each went hand in hand, the pitch seemed too much at once.

First of all, I thought the romance was a little unbearable. I’m all for instalove, but this just felt off to me. I’m not even sure where the romance was beyond Jack being healed by a woman who should have been scared for her life? I kept wondering if he would stop obsessing about her skin. And no, it wasn’t in reference to the color of her skin, but the smoothness. Hannibal jokes were passed between my BR and I, that’s how often her skin came up! Aside from that I never felt connected enough to either character to feel like I should be rooting on their romance. It was incredibly sweet, however, how kind Jack was towards Jasminda. In most of his actions, he often put her safety and position above his own. Albeit, it ended up repeatedly hurting her, his intentions were always good.

The story pacing seemed to bounce around quite a bit too. I do love that the book moved quickly and didn’t spend too much time moving the plot along, but I think in the end with the combined amount of topics hit within the story made it go from issue to issue to issue with stunted transitions. Meanwhile, the main characters sort of just go with the flow – sort of in a, if you say so I guess it’s true, sort of manner. Okay, so really, not that simple, but I kept thinking to myself, really? That easy? No questions, asked, just jump right in the foray.

I would like to point out how beautiful the cover art is. A part of me wants to rate this book so much higher because it is just so pretty. But I don’t personally think that’s fair. Just because the book covers so many important topics in a gentle way does not mean that it made a great book. I would have loved to read this book alone as a series where the issues were broken up a little bit more. Seeing that it is a series, I wonder what else can really be covered because the ending wrapped up so nicely for our main characters.

Trigger Warnings: attempted rape, kidnapping, violence, and racism.

The World Building

I loved the magical elements of this world. I thought that the imbalance of the magical power added to the conflict of the story. I think my favorite part was that the magic ultimately was used for peacefulness and never, except with the twisted or in self defense, was it used for violence or control.

I didn’t like how the word was built around a fantasy based magical realism. The fact that early 20th century vibes were underplayed with a fictional magical world just didn’t fit for me. I thought it could have gone full on fantasy and incorporated real world items like vehicles and telephones within those realms. It ended up making me more confused about time period and the possibilities to the world.

The Characters

Jasminda was such a sweet character. Her personality was one of acceptance and care with little resolve for self preservation. Throughout the story she continually puts herself in danger to help someone else. I think what I really appreciated about her as a character was that she wasn’t portrayed as the chosen one. There were many instances where she had the opportunity or capability to do something, and unfortunately, that wasn’t explained very well. What made Jasminda so much different than the other Earthsingers? Was she related to someone vital to the story? Don’t know, if I read it, I didn’t realize it was evident to the story. So even though Jasminda is a likeable character I just didn’t see how she was worked into the story with her greater purpose.

The Soundtrack

Nas feat Lauryn Hill – If I Ruled the World

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About the Author

Penelope, L._CREDIT Valerie Bey

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

 

 

 

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A Date with Darcy

35888335A Date with Darcy (Bookish Boyfriends #1) by Tiffany Schmidt

Publish Date: 4/24/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

4_stars

When Merilee transfers from an all girls school to Reginald R. Hero High she thinks it just might be the place she might meet her personal hero. That is, if they can live up to all the bookish boyfriends she’s forever dreaming about. Having herself surrounded by actual Romeo’s it seems that Merilee might just be living out one of her favorite love stories of all time.

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 The Story

Okay, so I was really thrown by this book. Initially when I started this book I thought I would spend it rolling my eyes from cheesy cringe worthy moments. But I didn’t! I must say, it did take me a quite a few chapters to find myself invested, but once I was, I was there for the long haul, which to be honest, I did think the book was a little long for a YA contemporary.

So, at first I was a little confused, because I thought to myself, “where’s Mr. Darcy?” because, to be honest, I picked this because I am a sucker for anything P&P inspired. When the book started off spouting Romeo & Juliet bits I was a bit lost. I am so glad I stuck it out, because somehow Schmidt was able to bring it around to relate to P&P.  Let’s just say I was swoony and cringing in the good way by the end, sighing, laying my kindle against my chest and smiling really cheesily towards my husband. If you want your HEA, it’s definitely can be found here.

I loved that this book referenced real books as well as I am assuming some fictional. A lot of the references were sneaked in so well, I just loved the extra seasoning it added to the book. I thought it really brought together the obsessive nature Merilee had towards books. The best part was how Merilee started to realize what a life would be like if the things that happened in the books happened in real life and ultimately how it made her feel.

Okay, so things I didn’t like? Obviously the slow to start and the length. I don’t think I really need to delve more into that. The thing that really irked me was mostly how perfect everyone in Merilee’s life was. I think too much time was spent on how swoony these boys were, especially when her best friend was incredibly sensitive to be objectified for her looks. I didn’t think it quite matched.

LGBTQ bonus, some of Merilee’s new friends at Hero high were lesbian. The best part is, it’s not pointed out as a struggle with their family or anything. It’s accepted as a norm.

Anyway, if you like cutesy YA contemporaries, especially ones that involve book nerds and psuedo retellings of classics, then by all means, pick this up.

Oh and Tiffany Schmidt, please tell me that the next book is a Date with Theodore Laurence!

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The Characters

Let’s just talk about Merilee. She had a great arc as she learned from her selfish whims about dream boys to reality. Let me be incredibly frank about why I loved her from the beginning and please don’t judge. I was exactly the same way when I was 15. I am not joking that I would rush into a “friendship” with a boy just to see if it would play out into a great swoon worthy romance. I’d like to admit that I was definitely boy crazy and incredibly flighty. I was Lydia Bennet. It’s such a surprise that I got married at 18 and am still happily married 12 years later. Yay us.

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The Soundtrack

Taylor Swift – Love Story

 

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Sky in the Deep

34726469Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Publish Date: 4/24/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

5_stars

Every 5 years the Aska clan battles with the Riki clan. It is because of this that Eelyn has trained as a warrior. In her first season she sees her brother, Iri, die. In her second, she sees him again, except on the other clans side. Caught off guard by the sight she finds herself captured by the Riki, and the only thing keeping her alive is her traitorous brother. As a captive she learns much more about herself, her brother and the war that has plagued the clans for centuries.

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The Story

I loved this book so much I finished it in less than a day. The pacing in the book flows with consistent action scenes that leave you anxious for your hero’s survival. It starts with a battle and ends with a battle. When I was reading I also didn’t feel like it was the same fight over and over, each one felt like a unique sequence that offered a stimulating scene. Not only were the fighting scenes descriptive but they felt realistic. The characters had limitations with their own strengths and bodily functions as far as their injuries went. Characters didn’t emerge from fights completely unscathed and had somewhat realistic recovery time and scars.

Through all the fighting there was room for romance as well. If you’re into the hate-to-love trope then you will find it here, and in a way that lets the characters adapt to the romance. The attraction between the characters felt natural as they learned more about and spent time with each other. You guys, it was really sweet too, what the characters were willing to deal with and sacrifice for the other.

Trigger warnings: kidnapping, slavery, assault, some graphic violence

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The World Building

Young did a really good job of bringing the surrounding world to life while it was engrossed in death. Maybe it’s because I live in the PNW and I am surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, but I could imagine the little villages and a winter too strong to travel through.

I loved the cultural aspects that were brought into the story to develop meaning to their lives. From the sacrifices to the miniature idols the characters are given more than just a brutal life of training to kill.

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The Characters

First of all I love Eeylin. This chick is a serious bad ass, without the actual need to tell use she’s a bad ass. The culture they are raised in develops her to be brave, but through the story we learn that it doesn’t make her a monster. I love that she has so many feelings despite everything. The desperation for her own life and survival as well as the willingness to die to save herself the shame of being a slave created such a bold character. I think my favorite part about her though was the love for her family. Not only for her father, and her fighting partner, but for her brother that though he seem to have betrayed her still holds a special place in her heart.

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The Soundtrack

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Heads Will Roll

 

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Suitors and Sabotage

34499243Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Publish Date: 4/17/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

4_stars

When Imogene has a good season in London, her family deems it best for the most suitable gentleman to join them over the summer. She is eager to get to know her suitor better as a proposal is bound to come, that is until she meets his younger brother. As Imogene and Ben spend more time together, they do their best to fight off their growing feelings. However, it seems that someone amongst them seems to be plotting against Ben as many incidents happen that when put together just couldn’t be accidents.

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The Story

How does Cindy Anstey do this? When I read her books I am reminded how much I just adore regency novels. All the proper manners and indirect speech. I love it. It gives more for the heart to yearn for.

So I docked a star solely for the fact that the book seemed to lag just a little bit in the middle. As Imogene and Ben got closer a lot of time was spent with them ignoring their feelings and just pushing it aside.Unfortunately for me I didn’t become really attached until Ben and Imogene were so wound up that they began to have a disagreement. Really it’s not the part where they are falling for each other, its the part where they just can’t be together that I find so riveting.

The fact that there was actually a 4-way love triangle at first seemed like such a terrible idea, but it turned out to work so perfectly. It made the growing tension more…intense. I just loved how much their affection grew as their denial was forced more and more. The complication of their feelings for each other affected so much more than just their own shyness or situation, it affected a brother and a best friend.

Sense And Sensibility GIF

The underlying mystery of who was trying to subtly attack Ben definitely added substance to a story that could have just been about a real awkward situation between best friends and brothers.

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The World Building

I loved the description of the homes and the ruins in this one! I absolutely adore old architecture, so the fact that our characters visited more than just one home over the course of the book, but also old castle just made my heart happy. I would just love to jump into this book and lounge about on a picnic while learning to sketch.

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The Characters

One of the best part of this book was that you were  subtly thrown into the mystery of who was trying to hurt Ben. With that being said we were introduced to a plethora of characters that could have had reason to hurt him. While I guessed it about half way, I still wasn’t entirely sure. I am not going to really discuss all the characters because I don’t want to give anything away. However, I could say I adore Imogene. It was so hard to read about her forcing herself to try to admire Earnest while watching her friend flirt with the man she was actually interested in. I loved that neither girl ended up being ridiculously catty about the men. They were both just sweet, tender hearted women.

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The Soundtrack

Cat Power – I Found a Reason

 

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The Diminished

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The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Publish Date: 4/10/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

3_stars

Vi has lived her whole life a diminished since her twin died so young. Her whole life she has spent tampering down her temper and envying all the twins, not because of the privileges they have, but for the wholeness they have. Bo is a singleborn and soon to be named heir to the throne of Asklad. Their lives somehow intertwine despite the fact that Vi is headed to a life of servitude and Bo a life of luxury.

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The Story

This story wasn’t much like anything I read, however, that doesn’t mean it was the best thing I read. The biggest feat this book provided was a complex world that I haven’t seen in any other book. Unfortunately world building isn’t everything, and the lack of a plot that actually created the desire to continue the book had me wishing that the story would just get on with it.

The pacing was a little off kilter, as sometimes having multiple POV can cause. There were times where one character had several chapters dedicated to their voyage over, while the other character has little mention to the same voyage. Too much time was spent on food. I’m not joking, there were so many moments in the book where the author spent a lot of time describing the food they ate. While it adds to some aesthetic appeal in the world, it didn’t actually add anything to the actual story.

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The World Building

The Alskad empire provided quite a bit of world building. There is a rich history that we are briefly introduced on that explains why everyone, except the select few chosen to rule, is born with a twin. I wish it was explained a bit more thoroughly the ramifications early on what the loss of someone’s twin can cause, not just the fact that they are called a dimmy, looked down upon, and at some point succumb to a rage. I did love the idea of the connection that the twins could feel from each other and what it meant to the relationship they had and how it built them as a characters.

I think one of the biggest points this book offers is a world where there is LGTBQA+ rep that naturally flows. Because a singleborn can be born from anyone, not just an already established royal family, it was not stressed for royal relationships to be hetero to provide further heirs to the empire. With that understanding, the culture of the people seemed to be open to whatever orientation someone chose, without batting a lash or making a big deal out of it. It was simply a normality.

Another aspect that was woven in was the oldfashioned male/female roles were reversed. Jobs such as “papergirl” or the captain of a ship being a woman were just a few ways that emphasized the point of the traditional male dominate world was not coalescent with the one featured in the book.divider

The Characters

Bo-Though he was such a naive little brat, his intentions are good, so he falls into what most may consider the cinnamon roll category. The entire time I wanted to slap his hand and tell him to stop being so trusting and put him in my back pocket for safe keeping. His vulnerability made him sweet and likable.

Vi-This girl has the fierce loyalty that everyone wants in a best friend. I enjoyed reading her character arc as she went from a girl focused on just surviving to a girl with a mission.

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The Soundtrack

Blonde Redhead – Spring and by Summer Fall

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Furyborn

34323570Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

Publish Date: 5/22/2018
ARC received from Fairyloot box.

2_stars

“The  angels will return and bring ruin to the world. You will know this time by the rise of two human Queens – one of blood, and one of light.”*

Lady Rielle has powers that have been prophesized to either safe or doom the world. A thousand years later, Lady Rielle is nothing but a story to Eliana, a bounty hunter/assassin working for the Empire. They fight for their own survival, and for that of the world, unbeknownst to them that their lives are woven together intricately.

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The Story

I had ridiculously high expectations for this book. I don’t know how I am going to explain how much of a let down this was without using any specifics (spoilers) but I will do my best. One star for the idea, another for the fact that I made it through half before I really started getting bored.

This book started off so good. I’m talking about the epilogue. After that the book draws out unnecessarily. Where was the editor? Told from alternating POV between Rielle & Eliana we get a story that is overwritten but also left spaces where I was utterly confused. So there’s this history of some saints that entrapped some angels, and they prophesized that two girl able to control 7 elements would bring ruin to the world (blood queen) and save the world (sun queen).

Okay, so I say “overwritten” because the Rielle chapters were the same thing over and over again. I’ll get to the nitty gritty about why I do not like her later. But she essentially has to do these trials to prove that she is the sun queen. Which, I’m not sure how they really think they are going to decide that? The only thing she’s doing is really proving her powers and saving what she cares about. The thing is, each trial was the same. thing. over. and over: Pumped up before the trial. See’s the challenge in person, and falters. Decides she’s doing it for her friends/loved ones. Succeeds. Big freaking whoop.

Eliana has this Celena Sardothian thing about her. She’s this Dread of Orline, and is the BEST, but really there are other people better than her, named Valentine and The Wolf. Anyway, we see her do one job, and even then she’s super wishy washy and got distracted. WHHATTT. Okay, she is bad ass in reality, but still, can we get an assassin that actually just assassinates without remorse? Pick a different job.

The idea of the plot was pretty awesome, execution was poor. As slowly as the story moved the relationships moved faster. See more, under characters section.

Those of you looking for any “bi rep” get your magnify glasses out, because they only lgbtqa+ rep in the book comes in 2 passing comments and 1 gay couple who is insignificant to the story. It honestly feels like this was added to the story just to reach out to the specific audience and throw in some diversity.

For those of you thinking this is a YA book, like many YA books this is a little on the mature end. Include two poorly written, slightly erotic scenes including masturbation and sexual intercourse. I say poorly written because imagine a lot of: “oh yes”‘s and “name”‘s with some movements and, as my buddy read friend, “earth shattering penis”. If you’re going to put it in the book, at least make it good. Am I right?

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The World Building

Legrand takes something that most people to take as good, angels, and turns them into the bad guy. Angels are at war with humans, why? Don’t know it’s not explained. But there are some with power that can fight back against the angels? The angels themselves? Not sure what their powers are, except they can use telepathy…and control humans. Not exactly sure how the humans originally trapped the angels, but I don’t even care anymore. Also, there are marque (which is a little commonly known as nephelim – part angle part human), some wraiths, AND good angels. Also, a flying horse just appears out of nowhere and can be whistle/summoned thereafter.

The emporium is some sort of power source? I think. It’s not explained. Also what’s not explained is where people get their powers. Are they genetic? Does everyone have at least one?

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The Characters

Rielle- This little spoiled, whiny little girl. She’s got all this super power, high ranking, killed her mom without repercussion, but she can’t seem to just be happy for her friends who are betrothed, and aren’t unhappy about it. This girl is so thirsty that not only does she lust after her best friends wiener, but gets all hot and bothered from a voice in her head. No joke. This voice in her head can also make her feel horny.

Eliana- So this one, also thirsty. It is sort of implied that her and her lover have an open relationship…because of their jobs. But seriously, once he was out of the picture she was all but ready to jump on her enemies dick. Sure she’s sort of running for her life and on a mission, but she can’t stop herself from lusting after this guy. Also, this girl is obsessed with her knives names. Each of her chapters brought up the names of her knives repeatedly. I get introducing the fact that this girl is intoned with her weaponry that she names them all, but really? Edit that crap out. I don’t care which knife she stabbed the guy with, just that she stabbed him.

The Wolf- When we first meet The Wolf he is not very friendly to Eliana. Spin a character whiplash and he is all worshiping at her feet and would do anything for her. WHAT? Son, are you bipolar?

Corien- why is this guy so powerful? Also, did he chose his body because of how much sexiness he drips?

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The Soundtrack

The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – Pray for Me

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*quote listed is from an ARC and may be different/removed from final print.

Duty Bound

36116832Duty Bound (Angelbound #0.5) by Christina Bauer

ARC provided by Netgalley for a fair review.
Publish Date: February 27, 2018

2_stars

Prince Lincoln not only is a skilled demon hunter, but also will do whatever it takes as his role as prince that his duty calls. That includes marrying someone he has hardly even spoken to to form an alliance, though he has always known that he will not marry for love. In the midst of his own political scheme that risks his own life, but could potentially save many other demon hunters, he finds himself distracted by a half human half demon warrior girl.

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The Story

Okay, I am going to be honest. I don’t remember requesting this book at all from Netgalley. I haven’t read the Angelbound books prior to this, so I probably have no place reviewing a novella. None the less, I still read this and enjoyed it enough. since it’s a novella it’s rather short so I was able to get through it in a single sitting. The only problem is that since I hadn’t read the other books I found myself a little lost on some elements within the world. That all aside, I could honestly say that if the rest of the books were written in the same manner as this one, I probably wouldn’t read them, even if the world is intriguing enough.

Why? Because it’s written in that first person point of view style where it’s read like someone is telling a story or you’re reading their thoughts. Lines such as:

My heart lightens. Can it be?”
“It’s a mystery, but it’s one that’s proven unsolvable. It’s certainly nothing I’ll figure out right now. Besides, I have far better things to do…”
“After Walker leaves, I start doing….things. I believe reviewing paperwork and meeting some of the Earls is involved.”

I personally just don’t like this style of writing and find a lot of it to be just filler. In fact, I find that it takes away from the plot and world building, which in this case I found lacking.

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The World Building

Honestly, it’s my fault I probably found this lacking. This is what I get for reading a novella for a book series that I haven’t read. Again, I didn’t realize I had even requested this, but what am I to do?? I can’t let the publisher down now! I am guessing this is supposed to be a urban paranormal fantasy?? There was mention of Twinkies and parks that close at dusk, so that was really my only guess to that. Aside from that, I was put into a world with ghouls, demons, thrax (whatever that is?) and quasi demons, etc. There wer some small little world building bits sort of thrown in as a side comment, like why guns don’t work on demons (another hint to the urban paranormal bit). Anyway, a little less personal thoughts in the writing and a little more scenery description could have gone a long way and been a lot more use of page space/word length in my opinion. But you all know how much I like to mentally escape in my fantasy novels.

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The Characters

Lincoln seems like he is set up to be the ideal guy, and I guess that’s okay, but I personally like a guy with some flaws. Then again, maybe that comes into play in the rest of the series.

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