The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson

5_stars

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS FOR THE KISS OF DECEPTION AND THE HEART OF BETRAYAL!

There is nothing better than an epic finale to a story that you have become so invested in. After going through so much with these characters you’ve come to know, there are so many emotions tied into how things will wrap up and eventually end. I love when I pick up the last book in a trilogy and realize it’s HUGE! To me, this means that I will be able to enjoy the story for that much longer, because most of the time I really don’t want it to end.  Mary E. Pearson did a really fantastic job with this final book in the Remnant Chronicles. I needed so much to put my heart at ease after reading the whirlwind of chaos that was the end of the second book, Heart of Betrayal.

Upon opening to the first page, you pick up exactly where book two left off. There is no time lapse to try and figure out what happened in between books, and for this I am grateful. My heart could not have handled anything less. The intense way the second book ended left me reeling as to what could possibly happen. And then our poor crew of runaway royals has now been thrust back into the Cam Lanteaux in a race against time. They must find a way to make it back to their kingdoms to warn them of the great danger heading their way. But not everyone believes in this danger like Lia does.  She was the only one to see what the Komizar was truly up to, and as unbelievable as it might be, she must stop him at all cost.

After having been through so much, Lia really has fallen into the path of royalty that she fought so hard to run away from in the beginning. But she realizes that it isn’t just about finding love, but defending your home and your people. And when she can’t leave her kingdom behind to fend for themselves, tensions arise. I found that Kaden really became a character that I was instantly drawn to, he grew immensely as well, after learning that what he’s known for so long wasn’t what he thought, he chose to go with his heart, and his heart lies with Lia. Meanwhile, Rafe is struggling with his own decisions that he is forced to make, whether Lia is by his side or not, he can’t let his people down. Together, all three must make some of the biggest decisions of their lives and for the better of the whole, or so they hope.  

I was so happy with the way Mary E. Pearson did not leave a single character out, we learn about what is going on in all the kingdoms we have visited throughout this journey, each character’s story is wrapped up, there are no loose ends left to wonder what might have happened. This to me is a sign of a great book, there’s nothing less satisfying than getting so far involved in a series only to be left hanging at the end. The story was unputdownable and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. I sacrificed sleep along with the characters, I felt their exhaustion and worry and passion to make it to their next destination and to save their people from danger and death. I felt the love that has grown between the characters, and the friendships that they have bonded. I never wanted this to end, but even though it did, I was so very happy with the ending. There were so many unknowns from the previous books as well that were explained in this final installment and there really isn’t a question left unanswered except for what might happen to these characters in the future. What I wouldn’t give to have another trilogy with my beloved trio.  

This world, and these characters, and this book were such a fun journey as a reader to experience. I am so glad that I took the plunge and read these and I will most definitely be adding these to my favorites shelf. There will be a reread in the future because I am not ready to let these characters go.  I don’t know what took me so long to read them, but I am so very happy that I did. Do me a favor, and yourself a favor while you’re at it, and give yourself the joy of reading these amazing books. Trust me, you wont regret it,.

divider

If You Liked This Book

29008738If you liked The Beauty of Darkness, I highly recommend picking up The Bird and the Sword. These both follow the journey of strong female characters while they discover who they are and what they were meant to accomplish. Both are set in beautiful fantasy worlds with kingdoms and royalty and a touch of magic. This book and the next one in this series, The Queen and the Cure, would be the perfect book hangover cure that you are sure to get after reading The Remnant Chronicles.

divider

Let’s Discuss

What are some of your favorite trilogies? Do you prefer stand-alones over series? Have you read The Remnant Chronicles? I am excited to read Mary E. Pearson’s new book soon to be released set in the same world, The Dance of Thieves. Is this also on your TBR? Let me know!

RAE sig

Advertisements

The Girl in the Tower

34050917The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

5_stars

As Vasya is faced with the choice of the convent or marriage she decides she will take her life in her own hands. With the help of her friend Morozko she aims to see the world and experience a life of her own choosing. Yet attacks on villages has Vasya putting a halt to her travels to help them, drawing the attention of the Grand Prince putting her cross dressing adventure into a precarious position not only for herself but for those who know her secret.divider

The Story

I really liked the Bear and the Nightingale, but I loved The Girl in the Tower. Where the pacing in the TBATN could sometimes be slow, I thought the pacing in TGITT a lot more steady and kept my attention. I think what was particularly compelling about the book was how fierce and headstrong Vasya was. Like many books with feminist themes the book revolves around Vasya’s choices, and while they may not always be the most sensible or have results that she may regret later, they are still hers to make, as it is her own life.

I am not 100% sure but I am thinking that this was a loose retelling of Vasilisa the Priest’s Daughter. To my understanding there are a few Russian stories that include Vasilisa/Vasiya as a strong female character, and I really enjoy seeing it used in a similar fashion in this series.divider

The World Building

Where the Russian setting was essentially the same in the second book, Arden does an excellent job of immersing the reader into the cold vast world of Russian, culture and it’s folklore. All the magic and quirky demons add so much flavor to such a complex story. I think what I found really intriguing was Morozko’s power and am so eager to read more!divider

The Characters

I think Vasya has such a complicated character. There were times when I thought she was so selfish, but then she goes and puts her life at risk to save some village girls. She is so headstrong and stubborn, though that I want to just smack her up against the side of her head and say look what your decisions are doing, look how it affects those around you!  And I think towards the end she really starts to see what sort of mess she has caused.

Though it wasn’t entirely focused on him, I completely adored Morozko. I love that he is so powerful, yet so confused. His relationship with Vasiya is twisted yet so sweet as he battles with his feelings, his power, and his immortality. I often felt bad for Morozko because it seemed like Vasiya only called on him when she needed something from him, and I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t stand when a friend acts like that.divider

The Soundtrack

French for Rabbits – The Other Side

 

scrill sig

Nyxia: Unleashed

35424762Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen

5_stars

Publish Date: July 17, 2018

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

“We’re weapons. They made us this way.
And we’re coming for them.”*

Now that Emmet and the rest of the genesis crew members have made it to Eden they discover that just Babel has more up their sleeve for them than just harvesting Nyxia. While navigating the tenuous relationship with the Adamites and the dangers that the planet presents the team must decide who they trust.

divider

The Story

Picking up right where the first book leaves off the team struggles with what Babel has put them through to get there as well as adjusting to their new home. The crew carries on with their assignment while continuing to grow closer as a team as well as stronger with their skills with nyxia.

What really drives this story is the mystery. Not the type of mystery you would find in a thriller or a murder, but in the anticipation of a twist you just know is coming. And boy, those twists can throw you a loop. Though there was one that wasn’t quite wrapped up in this book so I am aching for the next book. Because, Scott, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS??!

Anyway, the book is non stop as we are lead from uncovering secrets to fighting for their lives. This YA sci-fi book tackles more than entertainment but brings in themes that cover family (blood and the bonds that go beyond that), homophobia/coming out, war/genocide/death, large corporation takeovers, and so much more.

divider

The World Building

Not only does Reintgen have a crew of multicultural kids, but has brought us a alien world that mirrors some similarities to the humans cultures but expanding with their own traditions, beliefs and society. The adamite society has sort of a rural feel but we are also introduced to fun new technology that Babel supplies which provides for a juxtaposition of it all that is smoothly introduced as the story progresses.

The planet itself is just so interesting from it’s double moons to its creatures.

divider

The Characters

Since this book narrows down to just the remaining crew, we are allowed time to get to know our characters a little bit more. It’s still mostly told from Emmett’s point of view so it is still somewhat limited to his observations, but the bond that the crew makes goes deep and grows as they must rely on each other because that’s all they’ve got. I think my favorite part about these characters is that they are fierce and brave, but can still stop to mourn those that they lose.

If you’re looking for romance between characters there’s a few pairings in here that just work so well together. I didn’t expect it, but there is some heart wrenching scenes where they kids hold each other up emotionally with just a squeeze of the hands, a nod of their head, and even with just putting themselves in harms way just to save the other.

divider

The Soundtrack

Portugal. The Man feat Richie Havens & Son Little – Number One

scrill sig

*Quote obtained from an uncorrected proof and may be changed in the final version.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

36039614The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

4_stars

Funny side note to begin this review. I apparently had no clue how to spell “loneliest” before I began typing this title and spell check kept sneaking an extra “e” in there! Now I know! The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was such an entertaining, different, and surprisingly good book! I have heard so much about it lately and when it kept popping up I finally broke down and decided I needed to see what the hype was all about. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant at first. But then I got swept away in the mind of the MC Romy and all of the emotions she was going through being the sole occupant of a spaceship called The Infinity that is heading to another planet, Earth 2. I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel knowing that all communication with anyone on Earth had a two year delay in response, and being millions upon millions of miles away from all other life. My palms start sweating just thinking about it!

Being a book about a single character, alone, far away in outer space, there really isn’t a large cast of characters that you meet. There’s Romy the MC, her therapist from NASA named Molly (assigned to her after she sent word that her parents had died in an awful accident), and J who’s on another spaceship sent to help Romy get to Earth 2.  Yep, you read that right, NASA decided that after Romy having spent years completely alone captaining a spaceship all by herself since the age of 11, they are finally sending her help!!! And in the form of a man named J on a spaceship called The Eternity.

Romy was actually born on the ship after her parents accidentally got pregnant in the early years of their space travel to Earth 2. So she has never known Earth or anything really besides The Infinity and all its nooks and crannies. She was raised there by her parents until a horrible accident kills them while she’s only 11 years old, and she is then forced to run the spaceship all on her own. I found myself really connecting with Romy, the thoughts that ran through her head and the way she handles all the problems or questions she comes across are pretty realistic to how I would feel if ever stuck in the same circumstance. She craves touch, and love, and even just a conversation from anyone other than the halfway conversations in the emails she receives from Molly on a daily basis. The emails from Molly really aren’t conversations at all because as Romy gets further and further away from Earth, the longer it takes for her messages to reach Earth. And at the time we enter her story, it currently takes one year to make it to Earth and then another year for the response to arrive in Romy’s inbox. Two years just to get a response to any question she might have. I would go insane.

The format the book is written consists of the emails Romy receives, her fanfic of Loch & Ness (which was some of my favorite to read) and then the rest from Romy’s POV and all the thoughts running through her head. It hit me about halfway through that it was weird to read a book with little to no dialogue. I didn’t really notice it until Romy herself mentions at one point that she didn’t know if her voice still even worked, that she hadn’t actually spoken out loud in years. Can you even imagine that? I constantly talk to myself, so I know that wouldn’t be the same in my case, but who actually knows what it would be like to be so alone for so long. Maybe I would just cease to talk out loud, what’s the point when you are literally the only person around to hear it?!

This book had one crazy twist of an ending that brought me to almost tears at one point. It goes from being a mellow adventure of a 17 year old girl to something of a thriller. I was biting my nails hoping that she would survive. It was interesting the way that things were revealed over time instead of all at once. And you learn just exactly what happened on the ship that Romy doesn’t want to remember, or speak of. The whirlwind of an end had me consuming this book faster than my brain could keep up.  I read this in less than 24 hours and finished it feeling like I had just gone on a deep space adventure myself! This was a great read, and it will stick with me for a while to come. I’ll be putting this pretty book up on the favorites shelf along with all my other beauties!

divider

If You Liked this Book:

23395680If you liked this book, then you should read Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. As I was reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I kept thinking it reminded me somewhat of the Illuminae Files so I wanted to recommend this one to anyone who might have liked The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. They both have a different reading format, as well as deep space exploration. Both are filled with crazy twists and turns and will leave you on the edge of your seat ready to find out what happens next!

divider

Let’s Discuss

What would you feel like being stuck completely alone in outer space? Would you survive? Mentally, do you think you could handle it? I’m curious to know if these kinds of books bring about the same thoughts that they did for me. I was constantly trying to put myself in Romy’s position, and asking myself if I could handle everything she went through. It really is such a hard concept to grasp my mind around where here I am constantly in contact with so many people on a regular basis. Can you imagine how you would feel left to your own thoughts for so long?! How would you deal?

RAE sig

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

31019831Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

3_stars

When Lucie begins working at Château Beaumont she  is besotted with it’s master Jean-Loupe, despite the rumors of a curse. That is until she is affected by his monstrous personality. A spell is cast on him turning him into a beast and Luce gets her wish to watch him suffer. But as time passes she learns that the beast that has taken Jean-Loupe’s place is actually nothing like the cruel man.

divider

The Story

This book was not at all what I was expecting, and while I thought the unique point of view and change in the story was pretty great, the pacing was quite slow and a little on the darker side. I was almost pushing myself to just finish the book, until about 75% when I was finally invested enough into the characters to actually care about the ending. And while it was almost necessary to have all that transpire, there wasn’t enough to break up the monotony. I think a big portion of that was due to Lucie’s POV because there wasn’t a lot actually involving her, I felt like we spent a lot of time just…sitting there basically looking out a window.

Trigger warnings: rape and suicidal thoughts

divider

The World Building

I appreciated the story being kept in it’s French roots, despite being a retelling. I also loved how descriptive the book was with how Beast was dealing with the transformation and adjustment to his body – going from a human man to a beast with body parts he was not used to.

I also really liked the changes in the enchantment of the  Château and how the roses play a part of the story. I liked how it added to the humanity that was within beast.

divider

The Characters

I think the part that really stands out with this book was the Jean-Loupe/Beast combination. The drastic changes between the curse set upon them really sets this apart from other BATB retellings that I have come across. I think it’s in the fact that Beauty doesn’t change him per se, but the fact that the goodness is within him to begin with and it is such a drastic difference from who he was in the beginning of the book.

divider

The Soundtrack

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla

scrill sig

Paper Girls

28204534Paper Girls, Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaughn

3_stars

I have a small weakness when it comes to book related art. So naturally I am drawn to graphic novels with pretty artwork. I have read the entire Saga series up to date by Brian K. Vaughn so when I saw Paper Girls was a new novel written by him, I had to give it a try!  This is a different artist than his Saga series so I had a completely different feel from the first page. While this wasn’t quite as good as Saga, I was still instantly wrapped up in the story of the Paper Girls! I mean who doesn’t love a kickass group of girls who deliver papers in the 80’s with their neat-o jean jackets and walkie talkies? I almost got a feel of a female version of Stranger Things at some points in the story. (And I LOVE Stranger Things!!! Eep!)

The art in this is beautiful with the pretty neon colors that relate to the 80’s. I got caught up from time to time just staring at the pictures on the pages before I would flip to the next to continue reading.  I think sometimes I get so caught up in the story that I forget to stop and enjoy the art that goes along with it. It was nice that this was simple enough that it didn’t feel like I was missing anything, but still pretty and to the point.

The girls are all extremely unique with very different personalities, but all with the same job to deliver papers and to look out for each other in the process. I loved the little pointers they had for each other on who to stiff since they hadn’t paid their fees, and which roads to avoid at certain hours. Their camaraderie was fun to see progress as they are thrust into one adventure after the next.

It quickly turned very sci-fi with little explanation as to how things came to be, or what is exactly taking place. It all gets very confusing once the time travelers are introduced, most of which is actually better explained in later volumes but this was my main reason for the lower star rating. It was frustrating to have such a strong start to become so muddled once the action began. It wouldn’t take away from the plot if just a little more information was given in the beginning, and i think that made me like it a little less. All of Vaughns other story lines are beyond well planned and thought out, so I knew there would be a reason for the vagueness, but at the time it really bothered me.

In the end we are left with a cliff hanger that only makes you want to grab volume 2 and begin right away (which is exactly what I did). I am pretty sure I read all four volumes available in one night. I had to find out what happened after I got intr

o it! These would be a great into read in the Graphic Novel world because they are different enough to stand out, but still simple enough that they don’t overwhelm you. I really enjoyed this and will be continuing to read these as they are released!

divider

Let’s Talk About It

Does anyone else love to read graphic novels mixed in with their full length novels?! There’s just something about the art to go along with the story that really draws me in. Do you all have any favorites? Favorite author, or illustrator? And for all those graphic novel veterans, what was the first one you read? Mine was Saga, and I was hooked from the start! Let me know about your experiences!

RAE sig

Kiss of the Royal

32173635

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

3_stars

ARC received via Netgalley for a fair review.

The Forces of Darkness seem to continue to grow stronger, no matter how many battles the royal army wins. They have fought the war for 500 years, and every princess has the power to Kiss their prince to enhance their abilities, and Princess Ivy is the direct descendant to the original queen and therefore has the most powerful kiss. Because of this she must have the most powerful swordsman, Prince Zach at her side. Together their combined magic would be able to finally put an end to the war. The only problem is Zach wont Kiss Princess Ivy.

divider

The Story

I loved the underlying concept in this book, but unfortunately the delivery just wasn’t all there for me. As the story progressed there was a lot of repetitiveness as Princess Ivy told the reader how powerful she was rather than showing. She also spent a great deal reiterating why things were, usually one chapter after a massive info dump. I felt this stunted the pacing of the book, and ultimately made it a lot longer than it needed to be.

However, the story itself was fun and I loved how much of a slow love story it was, at least on Princess Ivy’s side. There was a lot of action sequences that helped break the story up as Ivy & Zach encountered more and more dark forces.

divider

The World Building

I had a hard time really getting into the world that this story was set in. First of all the princes and princesses were descendants of one queen and king. They are ultimately bred to have as much of the original bloodline. I’m not sure if the writer thought about this, but sounds like a LOT of incest to me, and it just made me rather uncomfortable, sure, 500 years later there’s quite a few generational lines they can choose from, but I mean, the second generation? In order for it to be a pure blood they would have had to have children with their siblings, or eww, their parent. I am probably thinking too hard on it, but it really just made me egghhh. Anyway, the entire time, Ivy kept saying that she was a Princess that was a direct descendent of Myrna, the original queen….but all of the royalty should have been a direct descendant if they held that power.

The other thing I had issues with was that the war was all encompassing around the Evil Queen’s ambitions and all the creatures she was making, which was great and all, but sometimes during the action scenes little factoids would be introduced in the moment that created conflict with the characters. To me it made for some poor writing as the information wasn’t built up ahead of time that could have been used, the information was given at the moment for convenience sake. It’s not exactly bad, but in a world where there are so many books that are set up so well, it definitely doesn’t make it stand out as far as world building goes.

On a positive note, I loved how the world had construed the belief system on love and how it tied in with familial bonds and lust. I think it helped support the use of Kisses as a fighting tool rather than a romantic gesture.

divider

The Characters

I actually really liked Ivy and Zach. I loved how they were both very headstrong in what they believed and were willing to put their lives at risk for the safety of others. At times I did find Zach to be a little full of himself and honestly, quite a tease. But that really helped the dynamic between him and Ivy really falling for each other (if you can’t predict that yourself then I am sorry for spoiling that for you, because obviously that would happen).

divider

The Soundtrack

The Neighborhood – Stuck With Me

scrill sig

The Heart of Betrayal

21569527The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson

5_stars

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS FOR KISS OF DECEPTION.

After finishing The Kiss of Deception. It was all I could do to keep my mind from wandering back to this world, so when I started reading Heart of Betrayal it was like feeding my starving mind, giving it exactly what it had been asking for.  Like getting a bag full of Reese’s on Halloween night. Like a tall glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Let’s just say that I was happy to pick this series back up and get back to these beloved characters that captured my heart from before.

Lia is no longer a runaway princess thriving in a small village, but the prisoner of the Assassin, Kaden. He has plans for her back in Venda, where if she can survive long enough to prove that her gift is real, the Komizar might see that she is worth more to him alive than dead. Or so Kaden hopes. But Kaden wasn’t the only one that Lia made an impression on back in Terravin. The Prince of Dalbreck, Rafe, fell in love with her during their short time together before she was whisked away. And now he is determined to rescue her from whatever the Vendan Barbarians have in store for her.

Beyond Lia’s journey, Kaden’s homecoming, and Rafe’s rescue there is the story of a city that has been built on hardships and rejection. Venda was the city that was neglected from the rest, considered to be barbarians instead of the chosen or the gifted. The Vendans have been struggling to find a way to get by for a long time and they refuse to be left behind any longer. I love that there is this rich history that we learn about in Venda. The ghosts of the past come to play a large role here as LIa learns about the people she thought were savages that are actually just families and tribes trying to make a life for themselves. With her gift finally becoming more than a lie, Lia is wrapped up in this city and quickly becomes someone that the people look to save them from their hardships. She wants to become their voice and to give them a better life than the one they’ve been stuck with for so long.  Starving, and oppressed they quickly accept her and welcome her. She gives them hope for a better life. This is good and bad for Lia, because while she is favored by the people that means that the Komizar also begins to notice her, and he has a more devious plan in mind.

Through all that she’s been through, Lia really grows as a character over the course of this book, she becomes someone that has passion and knows what she wants to fight for.  She not only learns about herself, but about everything she has been taught from a young age up until now, and that she was never given the whole of the truth. This has become more than her selfishly wanting to find love, to a much larger problem of a city that needs saving from itself and from the tyrant that rules it.  And in the end its not just Venda that needs saving, but her own home as well. Lia also discovers that there are traitors among the Vendans that she thought were still in Morrighan, and that this has been going on for a lot longer than she can imagine. And to prevent destruction of the rest of the land, she must somehow escape and warn the others.  But how to do that without getting herself and even Rafe killed in the process is the hard part.

Not only do we see Lia’s character grow immensely in this book, but we also learn about Kaden, and his past, and how he came to be the Komizar’s right hand man.  My heart went out to him even though at first all you want is to hate him, things are never as simple as they seem. Lia learns this too, but she also knows that there are no rules to survival, and that she must do whatever she has to in order to get out alive. But to break poor Kaden’s heart was almost too much to bear. I secretly found myself rooting for him throughout this book even though I knew that she still loved Rafe.

I think that this was an excellent follow up to The Kiss of Deception. And once again we are left with a cliffhanger of all cliffhangers! The whirlwind of an ending leaves you with the urge to immediately grab the last book and consume it as fast as humanly possible! The world building is amazing, the characters grow into individuals that you learn to love and want to see succeed, the history and plot keep you involved throughout and I could not put it down. Its safe to say that these are very well written and enjoyable books. I highly recommend grabbing these as soon as possible and see for yourself.

RAE sig

Ruin and Rising

35529926Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

5_stars

After The Darkling sweeps across Ravka taking over the capital, Alina and co are left to flee. Spirits are broken and she must find the last amplifier to have any chance of defeating The Darkling and his shadow army. As Alina learns more about her own powers, she in turn learns more about The Darkling’s history and what sacrifices will need to be made to finally defeat him.

divider

The Story

I know that I am probably in unpopular opinion area, because it seems that so many people were not  happy with the ending. But honestly, I’m not sure if there is any other way to finish off this story. I have to admit, the beginning was a bit drab, but once it got going, it was really non stop from there. There really was a lot going on in this book and there’s so much I could say, but that would be too spoilery. What I liked I think most was that not everything was a happily ever after. There was so much sacrifice, destruction, and loss that really drives the characters’ desperation and my heart just ached so much for them.

divider

The World Building

I love the continued influence that Slavic folklore and culture plays in the story. In this book we end up exploring a little bit more of Ravka and Bardugo has really made a vast land with magical creatures, unique magical abilities, and an expansive history. There’s a crazy twist in the story towards the end that I just did not expect, and it really made the magical aspect just so fantastic and my feelings were just all over the place from happy to sad.

divider

The Characters

Okay, the ending of the trilogy means off with the bad guys and happily ever after for the good guys, right? But like I said it’s not the happiest of endings, and I think that is one of the reasons why it’s so perfect. It’s just so desperately broken after everything has happened that there is no way it could be a happy ending. What we do get? Some redeeming qualities and info about characters we hate, and unfortunate happenings to those we love.

Mal was someone I just couldn’t stand through the second book, but was that Bardugo’s intention? There’s no way that anyone could believe that Mal was such a heart throb after all that went down in the second book. But I feel he redeems himself in this book. This is coming from someone who was constantly was messaging a friend that “MAL IS THE WORST”.

The Darkling is set up to be that bad boy we all secretly (and not so secretly) love. I know that I was holding out for him to be saved by Alina, and you know, I was really happy with what happens with his part of the story.

Nikolai. Oh, sweet Nikolai, can your book come any sooner please????? Everyone is ready for their favorite cinamon roll to grace us again.

divider

The Soundtrack

Banks – Alibi

scrill sig

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.

divider

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.

divider

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.

divider

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.

divider

The Soundtrack

Eisley – Currents

scrill sig

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