Review: Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura

Synopsis:

Meet Kara Hartman, a young painter living and working in D.C. She would love to let you believe she is just an ordinary young woman with a dream of sharing her art with the world. But she is hiding an astonishing secret: Kara can wield magic, the most powerful force in the universe. Traumatized by the loss of her brother, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But when an old foe resurfaces, hellbent on destroying all that she loves, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.

Favorite Lines:

I was too immersed in the story that I didn’t keep track!

My Opinion:

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

I was interested in this book as soon as Cura emailed me with the synopsis and a request to review it. I am a sucker for any sort of fantasy or paranormal fiction. I thought that the premise of the book was really creative and interesting. The story follows Kara as she tries to live a life as an artist, free of her magical abilities. Throughout the story we see different points of view from other characters, which I always enjoy.

One thing I will say about this book is that I felt it was on the amateur side of writing. It didn’t quite have a flow that was pleasant and effortless. It was full of a lot of sentences that ended abruptly; I felt like I was constantly coming to a full stop before continuing to read.

Other than that, the story was interesting, and I did find myself reading to see what happens next.

Summary:

Overall, Cura did a great job at crafting a creative story that was unique in its own way. I was able to picture the different scenes as they were taking place. I just wish that the writing had flowed better. If you like action, romance, and magic, this is the book for you. Until next time, happy reading!

 

Dreams of Fire


 

Review: Loopholes by L. Brown

Synopsis:

As time goes on, more walls are built by more people.  Sometimes they’re built to hinder others, sometimes they only hinder ourselves.  These walls enclose us if we let them.  What we seek lies beyond these walls.  When we search for depth and meaning, we can run into these walls; but there are ways to get past them.  Loopholes are moments in which the choice to go through walls, rather than build them, is made.  These moments come in the form of surreal encounters, poetic monologues, warnings, fragments, hallucinations, primordial memories, one page plays, imagined contests, conversations, confessions, events within events, songs, narrow escapes, and much more.

Favorite Lines:

“I’m the criminal who has committed the most beautiful crime.”

“He had the soul of someone I knew.”

“People make the mistake of ascribing meaning to words and actions. But meaning can only be found in the eyes. When your eyes find something they disagree with in mine, a fight erupts.”

“There is something wrong with the idea of fate. There is a flaw in it somewhere. It seems too perfect. We are taught that we have a fate, and that by trying to avoid fate, we inevitably bring our fate closer. But I tell you that fate can be overcome. The same way that you can overcome the law, i.e., there are loopholes in fate.”

My Opinion:

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

There was a lot of dark imagery and use of the words such as “blood”, “egg”, and “sperm”. I almost imagine that these words came from someone who is angry with the world at 3am.

I’m not a huge poetry person and when I do read it, I tend to favor romantic or melancholy, lovely poems. This collection of poems had a dark, deep meaning that seemed to reflect a lot on how society is through the eyes of the author.

Summary:

Overall, probably not my cup of tea but I can appreciate the art of it all nonetheless.

Loopholes


Review: Your Fierce Love by Layla Hagen

Your Fierce Love by Layla HagenSynopsis:

Clara Abernathy adores the Bennett family. After growing up in group homes, she yearns for the warmth and love of a family, and the Bennetts treat her like one of their own. So when Clara needs a temporary place to live, Blake Bennett suggests she move next door to him.

The offer is tempting. The problem? So is Blake himself. Handsome, funny, and alpha, he’s six feet two of eye candy… and his outlook on life is completely different from hers. But Clara finds it difficult enough to resist his charms at family events. How is she supposed to resist him when he’s just one wall away, and hell-bent on having her?

Blake Bennett knows family friends are off-limits for good reasons, and Clara is more off-limits than anyone else. But Blake went through life and made his fortune in the gastronomy industry by bending rules rather than following them. Clara’s sweetness and sass fill a hole in him he wasn’t even aware of. Soon he finds himself gravitating around her. He wants to have her and he will, rules be damned.

Favorite Lines:

“I know how to fight for what I want, Clara. And I’ve never wanted anything as much as I want you. So I’ll wait. And I’ll fight.”

“There is no right moment. Just right now.”

My Opinion:

Your Fierce Love is the seventh book in the Bennett Family series. This book, like the rest of the series, was a quick and easy read to pass the time. Every once and awhile I’m in the mood for a mindless read. Kind of like putting on the TV in the background, but with reading. This series has been perfect for that. It still provides the emotion and the NSFW that some people are looking for but it doesn’t have an overly complex plot and doesn’t require much brain power to get through. I must admit that I am excited to finish the series and have everything be wrapped up so I can be done with it and move on. But then I will just have to find a new, mindless but interesting series to read.

Summary:

Overall, this book was good and I am excited to see how the last two turn out. Happy reading!

 

Your Fierce Love


Review: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ill Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonSynopsis:

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Favorite Lines:

“His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.”

“When people fall in love, they burst into flames.”

My Opinion:

Being stuck in quarantine has limited my book options to the ones I have on my Nook when I traveled home from school (since classes are online) and the books that I left at home when I moved away for school in the first place. My sister and I did a book swap, I let her borrow some of my books in exchange for this book; which happens to be her favorite stand alone book. I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This book follows twins Jude and Noah as we follow them through major moments in their childhoods that shape them. Both twins are artists but where one is very outgoing, the other is very shy. As the story progresses, we see a flash-forward in time. We see one point of view from a young Noah and another point of view from an older Jude. While these different events are taking place past and present, the story is moving everything together to converge as one. I love story telling like this; that weaves a story so creatively and perfectly.

Nelson does an amazing job at putting everything together and using the different points in time and points of view to tell a beautiful story full of real human emotions. I will admit, I preferred Jude’s PoV but only because I was a sucker for the ship that took place in there. Don’t worry though, Noah has a ship of his own; you’ll see.

Nelson also has a unique writing style.  It was unlike anything else I have ever read before and really added to the creativity of the story. I don’t know how to explain it in any way than Nelson adding more emotion to the story through her descriptions and writing methods (which is still a terrible explanation).

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was captivating how Nelson told it and I am kind of sad that it is a standalone. I would love to see the characters in another 10 years but that is just me being selfish and wanting more. Until next time guys, happy reading!

 

I’ll Give You the Sun


Review: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood Sarah J. MaasSynopsis:

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Favorite Lines:

“Remember that you will die, and enjoy each pleasure the world has to offer.”

“That’s the point of it, Bryce. Of life. To live, to love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow. It makes everything that much more precious.”

“There are worse fates than death, you know.”

My Opinion:

I actually read this book twice before writing this review just because there is so much to absorb. I also stayed up until 5am both times to read it; which should show how captivating it is. Sarah J. Maas is probably my favorite author. The way she can weave stories and tie everything together has always been amazing. She is my favorite storyteller and her newest book is no exception.

The story follows Bryce as she navigates a world full of magical creatures as a half human half fae. Because of her genetic makeup, she has always been looked down on by others but she still manages to find a way to survive and have fun with her friends. That is, until her best friend is murdered. Bryce finds herself becoming a part of a serial murder investigation that turns into something much darker and more sinister. It is up to Bryce to find out who is behind the murders while being hunted herself before it is too late.

This book obviously has a ship, multiple actually. It also has plot twists and easter eggs (if you are a fan of Maas’ other books, you will know them when you see them). While the start does feel like there is a lot of information being thrown at you, later in the book feels much more natural and has a smooth pace. I had said I reread it twice because after I knew what was going to happen and could finally take a second to breathe, I wanted to reread it and be able to pay attention to the details more fully. The second time around still had me on the edge of my seat and staying up until 5am. If that is not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.

Summary:

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. Knowing how Maas writes her series with crazy character development, I am even more excited for the next book to come out. Too bad we will be waiting at least another year. Until next time, happy reading!

 

House of Earth and Blood


Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked KingSynopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Favorite Lines:

“Kill him before he makes you love him.”

“The Folk doubtlessly learned this lesson long ago. They do not need to deceive humans. Humans will deceive themselves.”

“’The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.’ Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. ‘Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.’

“It is said we learn more from our failures than our successes.”

“If you’re the sickness, I suppose you can’t also be the cure.”

My Opinion:

I am going to be honest, I was kinda hella annoyed with this book ending. Slight spoilers ahead! I wasn’t really committed to the series, I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I just felt like I should finish what I started and I always feel like first books in the series can be the best or the worst so you have to read at least to the second one to give the series a fair chance. All I wanted in this book was there to be romance and sexual tension between Jude and Cardan; which, sure, I guess there was… but not nearly enough. AND that ending though! Jeez… Black doesn’t pull her punches. I read the last chapter and was like “What the f***”. Excuse the language kids!

So now, because of how it ended on such a cliff hanger (don’t skip to the end to figure out what I am talking about, don’t be that person) I have to keep reading the series and hopefully, HOPEFULLY get some closure and maybe even get my ship to realize they are good together and call it a day. If that doesn’t happen…I am not quite sure what I am going to do. Please, please just make it happen Black.

Summary:

Overall, this book was better than the first one in the series…so if you didn’t love that one, give this one a chance. I didn’t hate it despite my ranting above and I look forward to the next one in the series. Happy reading, everyone!

 

The Wicked King


Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

HamartiaSynopsis:

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why, Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague.

Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.

Favorite Lines:

I was terrible and read the book all in one sitting without keeping track of quotes!

My Opinion:

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion…so let’s get started!

The story follows Grace who lives in the future with her son and soon to be ex-husband. The future is similar to present day with a few technological advances and a plague that is killing off the human race (no big deal). This plague, Metagenesis, causes people with old souls to lose their souls and die regardless of their current age. Grace’s 9 year old son is sick with Metagenesis and Grace is offered a clinical trial of sorts that requires her to travel back in time to save her son. During this journey, Grace not only learns a lot about herself but she also learns that she wasn’t told the whole truth about the trial. Now it is up to her to decide who lives; her son or her husband.

I love fiction of all types and was excited to read Rich’s debut novel. I will admit that this book started off just a tad slow for me. We are thrown into a world where Metagenesis already exists and go with Grace along her journey just as confused as she is at the beginning. I also was slightly turned off by Grace’s temper tantrums; she seems to be a very passionate woman. BUT once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what happened next and kept turning the page until I reached the end which only made me want to read more.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, it is totally unique and Rich did an amazing job at keeping the reader engaged. She also was able to keep it unpredictable. While I was able to start to grasp what was happening, Rich constantly kept me on my toes by adding in new information. Sometimes this can be frustrating in books because you feel like you are never going to grasp everything that is going on but Rich did it in a way that still made sense and kept me wanting more.

Summary:

Overall, I loved the ideas in this book and really enjoyed it. It was so creatively done and well written; the ending especially. I can’t wait to read the next one and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Until next time, happy reading!

 

Hamartia


Review: Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and FurySynopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed….

Favorite Lines:

“What? Okay. Fake news right there.”

“You seem like someone who likes needles…Because I’m a pain in the ass?”

“What point are you trying to make with your Chewbacca argument?… you’re just saying a bunch of nonsensical words and stringing them together like they mean something.”

“My stupid, stupid heart skipped a happy little beat, and if my heart was right in front of me, I would’ve punched it.”

My Opinion:

This book is the first book in the spin-off series The Harbinger for the Dark Elements. It follows a girl named Trinity, a seemingly normal human girl who just happens to live at the regional seat of power for the wardens. If you are new to these books, I’ll fill you in a bit. In this amazing world that Armentrout created, Wardens are shape shifters who shift into gargoyles and fight demons to protect humans. The world knows about them rather than them still hiding in secret.

As mentioned above, the original series is called the Dark Elements series. While it is an amazing series and I love it, it is not necessary to read to understand this book. I personally would recommend it because you do see characters and mentions of events that happened in the previous series but again, it’s not mandatory to understand this book.

Almost all female characters across all of Armentrout’s books have similar attitudes; which I don’t mind. The banter in this book was entertaining right off the bat and had me grinning while I was reading; Trinity is a smartass which I thoroughly enjoy.

I’ll be honest without spoiling anything (hopefully). In the previous series I shipped Roth and Layla. That is why in this series I am happy that Zayne is getting his chance. I just hope to see more of my ship in the books to come!

There really isn’t anything Armentrout can do wrong. She’s been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her Lux series. I know her main characters are going to be badass but still relatable and that her writing style will be full of entertaining pop culture references.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am upset there isn’t even a title released for the next one yet. Guess I’ll be waiting forever! Happy reading, everyone!

 

Storm and Fury


Review: Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman

Dominion of the Star by Angelica ClymanSynopsis:

The totality of a solar eclipse lasts only a few short minutes. That’s more than enough time for an apocalypse to erupt.

Almost eighteen years have passed since the Eclipse changed the Earth forever, and Sebastian Za’in rose from the chaos and seized control, imposing his order on the broken planet. In a world ruled by fear and superstition, where all gods have perished, there is no one who can stand up to Za’in, the man rumored to be one of the Nephilim—hybrid offspring of Angel and Man. In a few short months, another Eclipse will occur, and while there are those who expect a new natural disaster, Za’in has plans of his own . . .

Completely unaware of this global turmoil, Kayla Steelryn has spent most of her life in a quiet village, longing to uncover her hidden past. When she leaves her home in search of answers, she finds herself faced with the truth about her identity, forced to choose between the two men she loves, and thrust into a conflict where she alone has the power to stop an event more disastrous than the end of the world

Favorite Lines:

I honestly didn’t keep track!

My Opinion:

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

The story follows Kayla who has been sheltered for as long as she can remember. Before she knows it, she is thrown into a world she knows nothing about and is trying to learn who she really is. This book has romance, action, suspense, and many other things all added up to deliver a story that is totally unique to anything else I have read.

It has been quite some time since I have read a book dedicated to the Nephilim (not including Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout). Clyman created her own world that was unlike anything else I have ever read before. I found myself constantly reading to find out what would happen next (and staying up way too late reading).

I did notice that there was a lot of jumping around in the book. Some events just were not clear enough. I felt like sometimes the scenes were sharp and other times I was watching them unfold through a foggy window. I personally have never written a book (yet), but I would imagine it can be difficult to express your thoughts onto the page in a way so that people don’t have to read your mind. I did enjoy this book but I think it really could have been much better if scenes had more detail and the pace had slowed down just a bit.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed the world that Clyman created. I liked the romance that was involved even though I will always be wishing for more. I found myself excited to get in bed and read for the night which must mean this is a good book. I hope you all enjoy it as well! Happy reading!

 

Dominion of the Star


Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoSynopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy

Favorite Lines:

“Everyone is a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the color of discovery.”

“Lies aren’t answers. But they sound so much better than the truth.”

“That’s the thing about risks, it’s impossible to know which ones are worth it until it’s too late.”

My Opinion:

This book was a new one for me. It was like a twister little mermaid story except instead of being a sweet princess, she steals hearts…literally. The book follows Princess Lira as she is cursed by her mother to walk on land instead of live in the ocean. While on land she falls into an adventure with Prince Elian, the prince whose heart she wants the most.

Like I said before, this was a new one for me. I have never really read mermaid books in the past and I saw this book on a random Facebook post and I figured I would check it out. It was well written and actually really refreshing compared to some of the books I have read recently. It could have been quite boring because it is a little mermaid remake but I really liked how Christo kept it refreshing and interesting throughout the book. I also enjoyed the ship in this book. No spoilers but I will say that it was interesting to have a ship that wasn’t “BAM! I love you!” right off the bat. Lira starts off trying to kill Elian and it goes from there. Not very many books do that anymore, most are pretty cliché.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was out of my usual interest zone but definitely refreshing and worth the read. If you aren’t sure what to read next, be sure to check it out! Happy reading!

 

To Kill a Kingdom