A Gathering of Shadows Review

20764879A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Series A Darker Shade of Magic #2

Published February 23, 2016 by Tor Books

Rating 5/5

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

If you’re interested in my thoughts on the first book in this series, check out my review for A Darker Shade of Magic HERE.

The second book in the Darker Shade of Magic series did not disappoint! I am a mega-fan of any and all tournament scenes and this book provided one of the biggest championships of them all. 

Out of all the new characters introduced, Alucard Emery quickly became one of my favorites in the entire series.  Everyone loves a swash buckling pirate, and Emery embodies all of the best parts of the character. With an adventurous pirate, comes a wider world to explore.

Not only do the adventures of Alucard contribute to this massive expansion of knowledge of the Arnesian world, the tournament brings people from all walks of life (and countries) to the magical city of London. The explanation of the different people and the world in which they come from was very intriguing–it’s always one of my favorite parts of fantasy worlds.

Of course, the romance between Kell and Lila develops a little more (although it took sooo long to get to this part!). My favorite blossoming romance, however, is Rhy’s and someone who shall not be named (because it’s a spoiler and you need to go read this series immediately).

This is shaping up to be one of my top 10 favorites series EVER, and I totally recommend it. I’ve even put this beautiful bracelet in the shop, for an other Shade of Magic super fans out there! You can check out my Etsy by clicking HERE or going to the bar above!

Thanks for reading!

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Eliza and Her Monsters Review

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Published: May 30, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

I picked up this book originally because it was all over instagram (before release) due to it being the Owlcrate monthly pick. I am sooo glad I took the time to preorder it because of all the awesome goodies the author gave out, because it is wonderful!

Eliza is a character I felt I related to, much like Cath in Fangirl (even though I am a perpetual reader, not a borderline-famous web writer). The struggles Eliza goes through with her family and her friends are ones that any young adult can relate to.

The romance is an interesting one because both parties are scarred or damaged in their own ways. The ability of Eliza and Wallace to simultaneously heal each other was a lovely thing to watch (or rather, read about).

The pictures of the web comic Eliza writes throughout the book (as well as snippets of the novel based on them) provides an intriguing background into the characters’ lives, and made me want to read the story! In fact, Zappia has made a teaser of it on Watt Pad in the hopes if enough viewers see it a publisher will pick it up (see it HERE)! It was also really cool that Eliza’s favorite book, Children of Hypnos, is actually a book that Zappia wrote and has on Watt Pad (see it HERE). I will definitely be checking that out soon.

If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety, or just like cute summer reads, go pickup this book!

Thank you for reading!

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Coming Soon!

I haven’t really been finishing any reviews for books lately (there’s been a lot of romance/pool reads for me the last month), so in an attempt to break the posting dry spell I’ve compiled this list of books soon to be released that I’m excited about!

NEW BOOKS

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas    B&N     Target (not up yet)

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One of my favorite series, I’m super excited for this release! I can’t wait to see Chaol’s adventures in the Southern Kingdoms. The Target exclusive edition is going to have fan art on the end papers whereas the Barnes and Noble edition will have a pages from Maas’ writing journal. I personally will probably end up with both but the fan art for these books is always super awesome.

 

Godsgrave (Nevernight Chronicles #2) by Jay Kristoff      B&N

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I’m currently reading Nevernight right now and it’s an action packed with assassins. I’m already excited or the next book to release, and can’t wait for the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition which will have fan art on the endpapers, and will be signed! I just love seeing characters brought to life in illustrations.

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo      B&N

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I was originally leery about the DC Ya Novel Series, but then I saw the list of killer author’s representing the best superheroes! I can’t wait to see how Bardugo represents Diana. Right now they have a signed edition of the book available for preorder at Barnes and Noble.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE EDITIONS

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare   Amazon

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The 10th anniversary edition of this book looks awesome! There will be illustrations and fan art throughout the book and it’ll be beautiful with gilded edges and cloth bound. There will be four stories previously available only in limited distribution (and a brand new one!). Even though I already have this book in paperback (signed no less!) I’ll definitely be picking up this edition of one of my favorite series.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab   Amazon

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I just finished this book recently and can already tell it will be one of my favorites (see my review HERE). I don’t own it physically yet, so this edition is perfect for my collector (and bookstagram) needs! It’s the negative of the original cover (and foiled!) with a glossary of terms, an interview with the author, and best of all it will be SIGNED! Though there aren’t any plans for the rest of the series to have collectors, if this one sells well they will likely do it. So go support my crazy collector needs and preorder it today!

Thanks for reading! I’ll hopefully have more reviews to post soon!

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Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Vicious by V. E. Schwab13638125

Published September 23, 2013

Series Villains #1

Rating   5 / 5

Goodreads

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

I am a sucker for morally ambiguous characters, and this book introduces many poster children for the term. Victor Vale is a horrendous excuse for a human being. In fact, almost all characters in this book are.

Previously, all my favorite characters have been thieves with an agenda or assassins with a purpose, but one thing they all had in common was they faced an obvious foe with a somewhat malicious agenda. I love this story because there is no obvious line in the sand. EVERYONE is horrible and…VISCOUS, trying to advance their own agenda at whatever cost. The question of allegiance lies with the reader’s decision on who is the most “justified” (if anything these characters do is truly justifiable).

As a bit of a science nerd, the veneer of scientific reasoning surrounding the ExtraOrdinary’s “origin story” provided a major bonus. In the word’s of Victor Vale:

“Science, even completely fiction, [holds] sway.”

The time-skipping in this book was also flawlessly executed. Rather than laying all the characters’ beef out in chronological order, the quick flips to the past and the present made Vicious a true page turner. I was up until about 1 AM yesterday because I HAD TO KNOW why Eli and Victor hated each other so much (and what would happen to Sydney and Dol, two of my favorites).

All that being said, this novel is not for the faint of heart. Murders and blood and gore galore grace these glorious pages as Victor Vale searches for revenge on his once-friend. Despite his utter awfulness, Victor Vale is definitely one of my favorite characters for-EVER. I’m super excited that Schwab recently announced this previously stand-alone novel will now be a trilogy!!! Even though Vengeful (Villains #2) isn’t fully written yet, it’s definitely on my to-read list. I can’t wait to read more about these ExtraOrdinary individuals and whatever troubles they get up to.

Thanks for reading!

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Mid Year Summary

I can’t believe we are already halfway through 2017! It feels like New Years was just last week! Here’s a summary of my favorites throughout the first half of this year.

10987Favorite Book

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon is one of the favorite books that I’ve finished this year. All the adventure and travel undertaken by two of my favorite characters, Claire and Jamie, boosted this to number one (along with the fact that other books that would clench this spot fit other prompts in the list). This is definitely my favorite installment in the Outlander series so far. I’m currently working my way through Drums of Autumn so we’ll see if this spot holds ;).

22055262Favorite New-to-me Series

I’m absolutely loving the A Darker Shade of Magic Series by V. E. Schwab. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books (and can’t believe it took me so long to start them in the first place). You can read some of my thoughts on this book HERE.

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Series I Blew Through

Earlier this year, I devoured the entire Vampire Academy series. I was nervous to start them because I had my “vampire phase” in middle school, but actually ended up enjoying them quite a lot. You can check out my full review HERE.

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Another series I love is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I read a quarter of the first book about a year ago then put it down because I got distracted by all the other reads. This year, I picked it back up again and read the entire book in a day! Needless to say, Warden is now one of my many book boyfriends. I’m afraid to finish the other two books that are out because there are still four more to go in the series (and it’s been taking two years between each release!). You can check out my full review HERE. An honorable mention goes to Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic.

31451174Favorite Series To Return To

Definitely A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I loved the newest installment, A Court of Wings and Ruin. The only reason it didn’t top my list for the year was I had a few twinges of misgiving about the ending (which you can read about HERE. If you love the series as much as I do, you can check out my summary of Maas’ answers during Q&A at one of her tour stops HERE.).

Favorite New Video Game Releasegiphy2

This one caters to my more nerdy side, and for this one I’m also going to cheat. There’s a tie between Horizon: Zero Dawn and Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia. Both games are so different and I play them in different settings. Horizon is a game I turn to when I want some action, fighting robot dinosaurs as an awesome cave woman. Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia is an awesome continuation/remake of my favorite series, that has some added elements like some dungeon roaming that I really enjoy. Needless to say, I’ve sunk many hours into both of these games.

Book(s) I’m Excited About3145085231453592

I’m super excited for the Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas release in September. Throne of Glass is my all-time favorite YA Fantasy series, and I can’t wait to return to it (and get the story about what Chaol is doing during Empire of Storms!). I also can’t wait for Dark Calling by Kresley Cole, the new book in the Arcana Chronicles series, although it doesn’t have a release date other than this year (it was pushed back from a spring release). There are tons of other books to look forward to this year, like Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, Vanguard by Ann Aguirre, and Little Monsters by Kara Thomas.

Thanks for reading, and keep checking back for new updates (a summer sale may be coming soon for my Etsy shop!)

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Angel’s Flight

Angel’s Flight by Nalini Singh9738582

Series Guild Hunter (Short Story Collection)

Published 2012 (full collection)

Rating 4/5

Goodreads

I really enjoyed this collection because it fills in a few of the relationship gaps left in the first three books of the Guild Hunter series. In this mini anthology, there are stories about Ashwini and Janvier, Sara and Deacon, Noel and Nimra, and Jessamy and Galen. All of these characters made brief appearances or were at least mentioned in the three books preceding this collection.

Out of the four mini romances, Ashwini and Janiver intrigued me the most. Luckily, there is a whole book dedicated to this romance later on in the series, (Archangel’s Shadow (Guild Hunter #7), so I look forward to seeing this romance blossom further.

The stories of Sara and Deacon as well as Jessamy and Galen were nice to read because they already are couples at the beginning of the series. These cute novellas provide background as to how they became the couples they are throughout the first few books (and how Sara and Deacon came to have a dog named Slayer).

Noel may be better known as the vampire that got beat up to satisfy someone else’s agenda in Archangel’s Kiss (Book 2). Seeing a character I previously pitied recover from a horrific incident (and find love along the way) was an unexpected pleasure. While this still wasn’t my favorite story in the collection, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Overall a nice little addendum to a romance series that is shaping up to be one of my favorite! If you enjoy romance and fantasy, definitely check out the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh!

Thanks for reading!

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A Darker Shade of Magic

22055262A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Series A Darker Shade of Magic #1

Published February 24, 2015

Rating 5/5

Goodreads       Amazon

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book! I actually recommended this series to two people I knew would enjoy it, and they ended up reading all three books before I picked the first one up myself! The world of the four Londons is enrapturing. Schwab’s exploration of the differences between the planes of existence is seamless and leaves the reader feeling as if they’ve lived in the world for years.

Kell is the perfect morally ambiguous hero, with his straight-laced job and dangerous compulsion to break the rules, which makes him the perfect partner for Lila (or is the partnership supposed to be the other way around?). Lila’s desire for adventures is a lure that pulls at the soul of the reader, urging them to embark on adventures with her. While Kell is my magical ginger baby, Lila is the knife’s edge that draws the attention. I probably love her so much because she reminds me of another one of my favorite characters, Aelin from the Throne of Glass series, with her sassy remarks and take-no-prisoners attitude.

The magic system is unlike any I’ve read about before. The way the different cultures perceive magic was very interesting, and left me with many questions I hope to find answers to in the later books. And I will definitely be reading those soon! I already own the next two thanks to luck at a used bookstore and Bookcon sale 😉 and they’ve rocketed to the top of my TBR pile. Definitely check these books out if you haven’t already! I can’t wait to read all of Schwab’s other books.

Thank you for reading!

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Saga Vol. 1 Review

15704307Saga Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Series Saga #1-6

Genre Science Fiction/Graphic Novel

Rating 5/5

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Please note that this is an ADULT novel. VERY ADULT. That being said, as my first foray into truly “adult” comics/graphic novels, Saga is amazing.

The world is fully immersive, with the images adding a layer to the story that simply cannot exist without a graphic element. Going into this series, I never imagined feeling pity for a robot-human prince with PTSD, or beginning to understand a bounty hunter’s choices.

Star-crossed lovers is a theme that I will always be obsessed with, and Alana and Marko do not disappoint on this count. It’s so refreshing to see a bada$$ warrior woman paired with a “pacifist” man for once (even if he’s only recently reformed).

I can’t wait to see where their daughter Hazel’s journey will take them all. This volume ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so until I get my hands on Volume 2 my life will be agony. Definitely go pick this up if you love great space adventures (and can handle the Graphic part of this graphic novel).

Thanks for reading!

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Bookcon 2017!

I had such a wonderful day at my first ever Bookcon! Even though I was only able to go for one day, the experience that I had was amazing and I was able to meet some of my favorite authors! My friends Maggie and Jess and I went cosplayed as the Archeron sisters from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas. We were all lucky enough to have scored tickets to her signing early in the morning! It was pretty rushed because the line had to be finished before her DC Heroes panel at 11, but it was still amazing to see her again and show her our cosplay!

There were photo-booths all around the show floor that were super fun. The Shadowhunter one was my favorite because of the fun rune props! I was also thrilled to have met Cassandra Clare!

I still can’t believe I was able to see some of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo. My wonderful friends got me signed copies of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Windwitch by Susan Dennard and Vicious by V. E. Schwab from day one which I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I spent most of my day focused on meeting people rather than attacking booths for ARCs. Below is a pic of the haul of signed books/swag I managed to snag.

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Swag isn’t everything though; meeting, and even just seeing some of my favorite authors was what truly made the day wonderful. The experience of Bookcon was once in a lifetime, and I’m so glad to have been able to go for even one day. I even made the official Bookcon instagram page!

Sorry for the delay in the post! I’ve had a busy schedule the past few weeks! Thanks for reading!

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Liebster Award

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First off, I’d like to thank Naty from Naty’s Bookshelf for nominating me!  Go check out her blog! The Liebster Award goes to some of my favorite blogs (book related or otherwise). Sorry if this is a repeat nomination for anyone. Thank you guys for keeping up amazing content!

Here are the rules:

• Thank the person who has nominated you for the Award.

• Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you

• Nominate up to 11 people

• Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

The Answers

1. What is your favourite genre?

I have to go with fantasy, although I do love a good paranormal romance.

2. Who is your favourite villain?

Loki from the Thor movies is my all-time favorite villain.

3.  If you could be a character from a book, who would it be & why?

Elide Lochan from the Throne of Glass series. She is such an awesome and bad-a$$ person.

4.  Who is your favorite author?

Sarah J. Maas.

5.  What are you currently reading? And are you liking it so far?

I am a serial starter, and as a result am currently reading five books! Wintersong by S. Jae Jones, Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. City of Bones is a reread in preparation for meeting Cassandra Clare on Sunday! All of the others are very good, I just switch whenever one genre or story appeals to me (this drives some of my friends crazy).

6.  Which genre do you absolutely hate?

There’s no genre that I really can’t stand (or at least none that I can think of at the moment)! I probably read mystery books the least, but will pick one up occasionally–especially for reading on the beach.

7.  How do you organize your books on your bookshelf?

My main bookshelf is organized based on color in a rainbow! I have two side tables for books as well, where I keep some of my favorites and most of my signed editions.

8.  What are your bookish pet peeves?

I don’t like it when books are dog-eared or their dust jackets/pages get ripped (more so for hardcover than paperbacks).

9.  Which do you prefer: Hardcover, Paperback or ebook?

Ebook because of convenience, but Hardcover for collectors editions/my favorite books.

10.  Have you ever bought a book without reading the description?

I don’t believe that I ever have! I will pick up books based solely on their cover, but I always read the description first before actually buying it.

11. Where is your favorite place to read?

During the summer, I love to read by the local pool. When the weather isn’t nice, I’ll curl up in my bed or an armchair with a nice cup of tea.

My Nominees

Feel no pressure to complete this! Just want you guys to know you are appreciated. Looking forward to seeing your answers!

Maggie @ Massachusetts Novel

Jess @ Stars who listen

Gillion @ Gillion Reads

Dylan @ Playing With Thoughts

Sarah @ Between the Pages

My Questions

  1. What is your favorite genre and why?
  2. Where’s your favorite reading nook?
  3. Do you have a favorite type of nerdy merchandise?
  4. What hobbies do you have other than blogging?
  5. What’s your ideal vacation destination?
  6. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you choose?
  7. How do you like to organize your books/video games?
  8. What’s your favorite subject to learn about?
  9. Who is your favorite super hero/villain?
  10. Do you prefer classic or futuristic?
  11. What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Thank you for reading!

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