Review: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.”

REVIEW:

I keep bouncing between 3 and 4 stars for this book. Overall, I enjoyed it. I think the mythology and concept of this book are amazing. I loved learning about the Bone Criers and their beliefs and practices. What makes me hesitate between 3 and 4 stars is that I never really got sucked into this book. I’m not even quite sure what held me back, because it is such an original idea.

The novel is told from 3 perspectives; Sabine, Bastien, and Ailesse. I enjoyed the alternating POVs and it made the pacing better. Sabine’s chapters could get frustrating because I felt like she was running around in circles for most of the book. I also wish that time didn’t jump so fast. Bone Criers are tied to the moon. So important things happen on new and full moons, but all of the action happens on those nights and not much in between, even though weeks pass. I felt like it would have flushed out the romance a bit more between Bastien and Ailesse. I also think it would also have made Sabine’s chapters feel less chaotic.

Bone Crier’s Moon gets points for strong female friendship that doesn’t disappear the minute the love interest is introduced. There was a twist towards the end of this book that surprised me and sets up such an interesting dynamic in the next book. 

Overall, I think you should check this out if you are looking for something a little different. The mythology and world building are excellent and where this book leaves off makes me excited for the sequel.

RATING: 3.5/5

Have you read Bone Crier’s Moon? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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WWW Wednesday – January 6, 2021

Happy New Year! It is the first Wednesday of the new year, which means another WWW Wednesday. I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Dark Harmony by Laura Thalassa. It is the third book in the Bargainer Series. I am completely loving this series! It is a fantasy romance, so I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for their next read after From Blood & Ash or the ACOTAR series.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu. This was the first Shadowhunters novel I actually really enjoyed. I had some issues with the first three Mortal Instruments novels. This book didn’t focus on Clary and Jace which is probably why I enjoyed it. I’ve been reading the Shadowhunters novels in the order that Cassandra Clare suggests, which gave a nice break from the Mortal Instruments series. I plan on taking a break from the Shadowhunters novels for all of January, but we will see if that changes.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My next read will be Fable by Adrienne Young. I’m super excited to read this book! It has been all over bookstagram, and I’ve heard so many wonderful things. Also I’m obsessed with the book cover. It is absolutely stunning. I received it for Christmas and I hope it lives up to the hype!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought!

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January TBR

Happy 2021! I hope everyone is having a safe and healthy start to the new year. Obviously a lot of 2021 is going to look like 2020, but don’t worry we still have books to keep us company!

I am a mood reader by nature, but I also have a ton of unread books sitting on my shelves. So I need to plan out at least some of my reads for the month.

#1 – Fable by Adrienne Young

This book has been all over bookstagram and I’m very excited to start reading this.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

#2 – The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

As I’ve said before I’m a sucker for a good romance novel, and look at that gorgeous cover. This was my Book of the Month choice for January and I think it will be a nice little interlude between the amount of Fantasy novels I read every month.

“Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiances might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.”

#3 – The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am super excited to return to the Lux universe, and start this series. I really enjoyed the Lux series, and the world was so different than the things I normally read.

“#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.”

What are you reading in January? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…”

REVIEW:

I read Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore at the beginning of 2020 so I was very excited that she was continuing the series about her lovely group of suffragettes finding love. A Rogue of One’s Own popped up in my library last week, and I had to grab it.

Just like Bringing Down the Duke, we have a smart and capable heroine in Lucie. We go on a journey with her as she comes to the realization that she can still champion her cause while sharing herself with someone. Her and Tristan’s relationship is an equal partnership, which I loved. As they got to know one another better, even though they had grown up together, Tristan discovers why Lucie’s cause is so important to her and how important it is to the country. Lucie discovers that Tristan is more than meets the eye, and has many layers hiding underneath the pomp. I loved their chemistry and how their shared past tied into their present relationship. I loved Lucie’s characterization. Her passion and dedication to the cause always feels authentic and is consistent throughout the novel.

Unlike Bringing Down the Duke, A Rogue of One’s Own dragged for me at times. I felt that the setup took forever, and some of the new side-characters were horrible cliches. Side plots often became too convoluted and made me lose interest at times. Once Lucie and Tristan began their affair, the book took off for me. Their moments together are the book’s strongest.

While I still enjoyed A Rogue of One’s Own, I found it lacking. Honestly, it is lacking because of how strong Bringing Down the Duke was for me. I still recommend this book though because Lucie is a fantastic heroine, and overall I enjoyed it. I’m excited to see what is next in store for the League of Extraordinary Women.

RATING: 4/5

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WWW Wednesday – December 23rd, 2020

Happy Festivus! It’s Wednesday which means another WWW Wednesday. I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore. I was very excited to pick this up at my library since I read Bringing Down the Duke at the beginning of the year and loved it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Air Awakens by Elise Kova. It is book one of the Air Awakens series. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I think it had some really great world building and I loved Vhalla and Prince Aldrik. It has some similarities to the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, but isn’t a carbon copy.

What do you think you will read next?

I think I’ll be reading the next in the Bargainer series, Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa. I loved Rhapsodic and completely devoured it. So I’m excited to see where this series goes, and see how Callie and Desmond relationship develops.

As always, check out my Instagram!

December TBR

I’m much more of a mood reader, but I’m going to attempt to plan some of these books out because they have been sitting on my TBR list for awhile.

#1 – Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa

This one has been sitting on my kindle since the summer and I’m very excited to read this one. I just started it this today and I’m loving it. This got recommended to me after reading From Blood & Ash, since it also falls into the categories of Fantasy, Romance and New Adult.

#2 – In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

This was my Book of the Month choice, very excited and I’ve heard wonderful things about this book. It will also definitely put me into the Christmas spirit.

#3 – Opposition (Lux Series #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’m going to finish out the Lux series this month. I just finished Origin this week and I’m excited to see how this series concludes.

These are going to be the only books I plan on reading. A lot of the time I will pick my next book on how the one previously left me feeling. So I know I’ll end up reading more than three books this month, but I don’t want to plan any others out.

Let me know what you’ll be reading this month!

You can always follow my bookish escapades on Instagram!

Review: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Dark Elements #2)

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…”

REVIEW:

Alright, so I had a bit harder time getting through Stone Cold Touch. I still enjoyed it and when I got to the last 100 pages, it really flew by for me. I felt like this book was just a rehash of White Hot Kiss. Layla, once again spends most of the novel confused, and being treated like completely crap by the Wardens. Though most of the time, Layla’s confusion makes sense. There isn’t anyone she can go to about her powers, because there isn’t anyone like her. She also started having feelings for Roth, while still having a crush on Zayne. When you are seventeen, that is an awful lot. I guess I just grew frustrated because it was the same problems essentially as the first novel. It didn’t show any growth for Layla.

I was frustrated with Roth, with his whole I’m gonna be a dick to keep Layla safe. I also grew frustrated with Zayne, because it felt like he never treated Layla’s concerns as valid. She had every right to be concerned for his safety and he would just brush those concerns aside. Which her concerns are proven as valid towards the end of the novel. As I was reading, I just kept getting frustrated with how everything felt repetitive. It felt like we were just biding our time until we could get to the moment when something big could happen, and then move onto the next portion of the story.

Overall, I still enjoyed Stone Cold Touch, but it definitely has middle book syndrome. I still enjoyed the characters, and was so happy that Stacey had finally been let in on Layla’s secret. The cliffhanger was exciting, and I will be interested to see where this series goes.

RATING: 2.5/5

Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is from a family of moneylenders, but her father is a sympathetic man who will take any excuse when people cannot pay him. It has brought his family to the brink of poverty. Miryem decides to take matters into her own hands, she sets out into the village to claim what is owed to her family. She gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-timed boast is overheard in the forest by the king of the Staryk, a magical race of creatures who seem more ice than human, she attracts his attention. She will forever alter the lives in two kingdoms. Miryem is given a seemingly impossible task, and her life becomes intertwined with a local peasant girl and the daughter of a local lord.

REVIEW

The was my first Naomi Novik novel and I wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoyed the blending of myths and fairy tales to create this stand alone adventure. Miryem is an interesting heroine, at times she is gold hungry and over confident which is what gets her into trouble, but her actions do feel justified and her arguments are valid. Our three heroines are all from different stations in life, and each have much different experiences with magic.

I do wish the book had been completely from these three viewpoints. Once she began to add in additional viewpoints I lost interest at times, and struggled to get through those chapters. There is always the risk taken when doing a story from multiple viewpoints. It just frustrated me, because I was flying through this book until the additional viewpoints were added about halfway through and then it really slowed me down.

Overall, I enjoyed Spinning Silver. It is a well written, well-paced fantasy novel. It makes me excited to check out other adventures written by Naomi Novik.

RATING: 8/10

Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, this is a version of the Bennet family that you may be familiar with. Liz is a magazine writer, who like her yoga instructor sister Jane, live in New York City. After their father suffers a health scare, they return to Cincinnati and their childhood home. Upon arrival they discover their childhood home is crumbling, and the family is on the verge of financial ruin. Despite this, Mrs. Bennet’s chief concern: how to marry off her daughter, especially as Jane’s 40th birthday is rapidly approaching. By pure chance Chip Bingley, a handsome doctor, has recently moved to Cincinnati. At a party, Chip immediately notices Jane, but Chip’s friend, a neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, butts heads with Liz. However, we all know that first impressions can be deceiving.

REVIEW

Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite, so I will always give an adaptation or retelling a chance. This was a part of The Austin Project, which enlisted best-selling authors to “modernize” Jane Austen’s beloved novels.

For me, it did take a little bit to get going, but once everything was established and the world had been built I had been sucked in. The author truly captured the feel of every character, and even though I knew the plot points that would be coming, I still couldn’t stop turning the page. The pace is breezy which is perfect. I did grow truly frustrated with Mrs. Bennet. I didn’t agree with the decision to make her into a homophobic, racist and anti-Semite person. Mrs. Bennet is a snob there is no doubt about that, but it made her unbearable.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I don’t think its a necessary book really because to me Pride and Prejudice is perfect and doesn’t need to be modernized. However, if you love Jane Austin you should definitely check it out.

RATING: 6/10

Now I’m going to go reread Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time!

Review: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Alessandra is the second daughter of a nobleman which means she is not allowed to be out in society until her sister is married. She is always overlooked, and has only been in love once which didn’t end well. So she has a new plan to never be overlooked again.

Step 1: Woo the Shadow King.
Step 2: Marry him and become Queen.
Step 3: Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

The only problem, Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. Attempts on his life are being made, but Alessandra needs to keep him alive so that she can stick to her plan. However as she gets closer to him she realizes that they just might be perfect for each other.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. It was sold to me as a love story between two villains, and that describes it perfectly. Alessandra and Kallias (The Shadow King) are not good people. Kallias is a conqueror who has no sympathy for his people, while Alessandra is a murderer who craves power. They are not out to be good people and the book doesn’t try to redeem them either which makes it excellent.

The pacing is perfect, and their relationship feels genuine and not rushed. This book truly has a little bit of everything, there are several mysteries, assassination attempts, court intrigue, some fantasy elements, and romance. Another bonus is that this book is a stand-alone. While I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, I think it helps that it isn’t expanded into a series. (And honestly I don’t need to start another series right now.)

RATING: 8/10