REVIEW: Shadowsong – S. Jae-Jones (ARC)

30694168Title: Shadowsong (Wintersong #2)
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

“Perhaps I loved the monstrous because I was a monster. Josef, the Goblin King, and me. We were grotesques in the world above, too different, too odd, too talented, too much. We were all too much.”

It seems like a lot of people have been disappointed by Shadowsong, but as for myself, I really enjoyed it! I was thrilled to return to the dark, haunting world S. Jae-Jones has created. As with Wintersong, I feel like people will either love the writing or feel disconnected to it. I absolutely love the lush, lyrical writing and descriptions and find it matches the tone of the story perfectly. 

“On and on and on, for as long as the seasons turn and the living remember all that is good and beautiful and wonderful and worthwhile in the world. For love is our only immortality, and when memory is faded and gone, it is our legacies that endure.”

Shadowsong differs from the first book in that the story focuses almost entirely on Liesl and her growth as character, including her changed relationships with Josef and Käthe. Because it’s much more character driven, the story does move at a much slower pace as there’s not a lot going on plot-wise. I love Liesl’s character and felt very connected to her, so to me this wasn’t an issue, but I could see how it could be bothersome to others. My only gripe was that there was not enough Goblin King! Although we do learn a lot more about the Goblin King, such as his background and – finally – his name, even the interactions between him and Liesl were sparse, which left me wanting. Overall, I was ecstatic to be thrust back into the world S. Jae-Jones created and was very pleased with the sequel!

 

WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

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

30694168WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones

 

 


23299513WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

 

 


33555224WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I still haven’t decided if I want to read another ARC next or a new release that I’ve been waiting for, but I think I’ll start Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman next!

REVIEW: The City of Brass – S.A. Chakraborty

32718027Title: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Rating: ★★★★★

Give me all the stories with djinn. With only two days left to complete my Goodreads reading challenge, I decided to pick this up. I considered this a daunting task, as it was over 500 pages, but I would soon find out that I had nothing to worry about. The City of Brass was completely mesmerizing and impossible to put down.

S.A. Chakraborty’s writing is incredible. She weaves a vivid story, which easily pulled me into the pages of the immensely creative world she created. The City of Brass was everything I could have hoped for in a fantasy: action and adventure, slow-burn romance, complex characters, political intrigue, and so, so much more. 

The characters of the story are so well developed and complex that I honestly believe they’re one of the strongest element of the book.

Nahri – One of the main protagonists, an orphaned con artist/thief living in Cairo with an affinity for healing who knows little to nothing of her past. I absolutely adored her. She was smart, resourceful, grounded, and such a well-rounded character.

Dara – The Daeva warrior Nahri accidently conjures. As the tormented, brooding, morally-complex hero with a tragic past, he quickly became one of my favorites. His character is woven into the history of the places and other characters so intricately that he’s one of the most important parts of the story. 

Ali – The second protagonist, he’s a djinn prince with immovable morals and a headstrong attitude. Like the other characters in the story, Ali is very complex. He possessed qualities that caused me to both like and dislike him. His loyalty to his family and commitment to duty and honor were commendable, but also the root of the problem for some of his other actions. He is torn between loyalty to his family and what he believes is right, and so tiptoes the line between. 

One of my favorite things about the story was the fact that it felt very realistic, especially in terms of right and wrong. It highlighted that nothing is black and white, and both sides of the turmoil participate in actions that were morally grey, and sometimes just plain atrocious, feeding off the transgressions committed against one another which then only cause an escalation in the unrest. 

The City of Brass was one of my favorite books of 2017 – a shame that it was the very last book I read – and a fantastic debut novel by S.A. Chakraborty. Everyone needs to read this and hopefully it will gain the popularity it so deserves! I don’t think I could have asked for a better book to end the year with. The heartbreaking moments and revelations made at the end have me excited for the sequel and I can’t wait to return to this world and these characters.

Blog Tour: Between the Blade and the Heart – ARC Review

Happy New Year! And a happy book birthday to Amanda Hocking! Today is the release of Between the Blade and the Heart and I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour! Between the Blade and the Heart was one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 and I’m so excited that I was able to get an ARC of it!


Cover Between the Blade and the HeartTitle: Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyries #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Rating: ★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

In a genre dominated by vampires and werewolves, I’m always looking to find Young Adult books that feature other paranormal creatures. One of the things that first interested me about the Between the Blade and Heart was that it contained both Valkyries and Norse mythology!

Between the Blade and the Heart was not exactly what I had been expecting when I first started reading. For some reason, I had expected a historical fantasy setting heavy with elements of Norse mythology. I think my assumption was based on the vagueness of the synopsis and the fact that I was unfamiliar with Amanda Hocking’s work. Instead, the book takes place in a near future setting with technological advances and was more similar to an urban fantasy novel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I had been expecting at all! The story features many fantasy creatures from lots of different cultures and mythologies, in addition to the Norse mythology elements. I was really intrigued by the idea of modern day Valkyries and their roles in the world. I think the world-building in that aspect was really well done.

I thought Malin, our protagonist to be well-rounded and interesting, but I still couldn’t find myself connecting with her that much. I did have a slight issue, however, with the romance. The book does contain a love triangle – albeit a different sort of love triangle than what is usually featured – but a love triangle nonetheless. I found myself feeling like the relationships between the characters could have been developed a bit more. I also think that some of the side characters could have used more depth. The writing itself was really good and I found nothing to complain about the plot or pacing. The story is fast-faced, filled with action, and was definitely not a slow read. The ending sets up nicely for the sequel and I look forward to reading the next book in the series!


Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera PhotographyAmanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Follow Amanda:
Author Website
Twitter
Blog

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Debuts

Merry Christmas everyone! I was at work, but I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was books we’re most looking forward to next year. I decided to narrow it down a bit and focus on Young Adult 2018 releases that are debuts. I’m so excited for these books to come out and I can’t wait to read them!

2018 YA Debuts

EVERLESS by Sara Holland (January 2) | BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA by Joanna Ruth Meyer (January 9) | MARKSWOMAN by Rati Mehrotra (January 23) | THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert (January 30) | YOUR ONE & ONLY by Adrianne Finlay (February 6) | THE QUEEN’S RISING by Rebecca Ross (February 6) | TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo (March 6) | ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian (April 24) | SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young (April 24) | A COURT OF MIRACLES by Kester Grant (2018)

Comment and tell me what you’re looking forward to reading in 2018! Are any on my list?