Review: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both. 

My Review

After absolutely loving An Ember in the Ashes, I was more than ready to get my hands on this second book! And can I just say: WOW! Tahir most certainly does not disappoint! A Torch Against the Night picks up right where the first book left off, with Laia having just freed Elias from execution under the terms that he promise to help free her brother Darin from the most guarded prison in the land.

While reading this, I needed to know that everything would be ok, because there were just so many heart wrenching events that occurred. Tahir is definitely cut throat when it comes to how far a character will go to get what they want. I would definitely not categorize this book as Young Adult just because of how brutal some of the killings are. Throughout the story, I kept freaking out over how things would possibly turn out in their favor, and honestly some things went to hell so quickly. I think Tahir utilized these terrible events to further drive the need to see the protagonists eventually succeed. I feel as if I have just as much of a burning need for vengeance as the main characters have.

Laia and Elias’ relationship evolves so much more in this second edition, which was wonderful to finally experience. They make one another stronger, and it is plain to see as their stamina is continuously tested. There was one particular plot twist that was revealed that absolutely blew my mind and changed everything for events to come. I am reeling after finishing this book, both from joy over certain romantic developments, and anticipation of the payback that is to come! Unfortunately, I have to wait till “bleeding” 2018 to read book three, which hurts my soul in every possible way!!

I would most definitely recommend you read book two in A Torch Against the Night!! Pick it up on Amazon here!

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Review

I have heard all the hype on An Ember in the Ashes and have seen it all over bookstagram, but I never really knew what it was about until I picked it up! I actually have had this book checked out for over a month and had to keep renewing it until I was able to finally read it! And wow was it worth the wait!!! I absolutely loved this book!

The story follows the two perspectives of Laia and Elias, it alternates chapters between the two, which got pretty frustrating let me tell you. Almost every chapter ended on a cliff hanger and you had to wait to see the others POV to get back to that, it was great when the two characters began to finally interact with one another because you were able to learn more as you went. Anyway, Laia is a slave and Elias is a soldier, who happens to be the son of the leader of the army. However, things are a lot more complicated then a division of class between these two characters. Laia is forced into becoming a spy for the resistance in order to save her imprisoned brother, and Elias must make the most difficult decision of his life when he is thrown into a series of Trials made to test the very fabric of his soul. Their lives become remarkably intertwined as the stakes rise higher and higher.

The plot twists and developments in this book were non-stop!! I was so completely hooked from the start! The characters were beautifully structured and the story was very fast paced. The relationship between Elias and Laia was so endearing and very differently formed compared to past books. Though this book is not heavily romantic, it added greatly to the meaning of the content. The world that Tahir created is unlike any I’ve encountered. I cannot wait to see what comes next!! I am so eager to get my hands on book three!

If you are looking for the next great adventure, filled with twists, and epic characters, then I would most definitely recommend you read An Ember in the Ashes! Pick it up on Amazon here!

Review: And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga #1) by Keirsten White

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Goodreads Summary:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Review

Ok this is a hard one folks. I wanted so badly to like this book,and I just didn’t. I love Keirsten White, her Paranormalcy series was fantastic! So I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book! There are many possible reasons as to why I didn’t like this story very much. Well for one, I took about two weeks to read it due to my insane exam schedule so the content itself just seemed to drag, but that could also be because it wasn’t super exciting in the first place. It just took so long for something to actually happen between the characters that was genuinely meaningful.

The story follows the perspectives of siblings: Lada and Radu as they suffer through their terrible childhood  while being tossed around like objects by their selfish father. When they find themselves in a city where everyone is a stranger, they accidentally encounter the future sultan and soon become entangled in the politics of the country and the cut throat methods necessary to gain power.

Lada is one of the most infuriating and difficult to like main characters I’ve encountered. From the get-go she is insufferable to everyone around her, including her brother who is the only person who has ever truly loved her. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated her resilience to be herself and defy feminine stereotypes, but to put it plainly, she was a bitch. It was very hard to distinguish genuine emotion from her. Radu’s character didn’t instill anything in me but pity for his very unfortunate situation. And really, his life and hopelessness didn’t improve much throughout the story. Then we come to the romance, in which I essentially felt nothing for! There was no real love there whatsoever!! I just couldn’t grasp on to it.

The conclusion was kind of a cliff hanger, kind of…I’m just not feeling reading the next book. I truly do wish I had enjoyed this story more, but I just didn’t. Sorry for the negative review guys!

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Pirate (Space Gypsy Chronicles) by Eve Langlais

 

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About Pirate:

Pirate

A Galactic Adventure – with a sassy ship – and aliens!

 

Earth: a space pirate’s dream when it comes to booty, but not a good place to Earth: a space pirate’s dream when it comes to booty, but not a good place to hide when bounty hunters come looking. Pulling up stakes means Rafe must leave his vintage trailer behind, but in the process, he acquires a passenger, a mouthy female who seems to think she’s calling the shots. She’ll soon learn who’s the captain.

And it isn’t Annabelle, his bossy ship.

Travel the galaxy with this gypsy pirate as he looks for treasure–and finds trouble instead. The universe might be out to get him, but he’s not giving in without a fight.

Get Your Copy!

Eve Langlais’s Page | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Amazon.com

Excerpt:

Zing. The mini laser bullets peppered the ground in front of her, short of their target but showing their wicked intent with the puffs of dust they raised.

“They shot at me!” she squeaked.

“It’s what you get for associating with a known criminal. They now consider you my accomplice.” He smiled. “Welcome to my world.”

“This is your fault!” She yelled the accusation as she ducked behind him, moments before more laser bullets hit the ground where she’d stood.

Of course this was his fault. Way to state the obvious. Even more obvious was the fact that they’d end up as particles of ash if they didn’t get to safety.

 

About Eve Langlais:

~ New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Hello, my name is Eve and I am a Canadian author who loves to write hot romance, usually with hot shifters, cyborgs or aliens. I should warn you that I possess a twisted imagination and a sarcastic sense of humor something I like to let loose in my writing. I love to write, and while I don’t always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because I love a happily ever after. Thanks so much for coming by and checking me out. If you’d like to know more, read some excerpts or find out what’s coming next, then please visit me at http://www.EveLanglais.com Or sign up for my new release email list at http://www.evelanglais.com/newrelease Happy reading! Eve Langlais

Connect with Eve:

Website | Facebook | Fan Group | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

Enter Eve’s Giveaway:

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Release Day Launch & Giveaway: Pirate (Space Gypsy Chronicles #3) by Eve Langlois

Today we have the blog tour for Pirate by Eve Langlais! Grab your copy of this new scifi today!

Pirate RDL Ban

About Pirate:

Pirate

A Galactic Adventure – with a sassy ship – and aliens!

Earth: a space pirate’s dream when it comes to booty, but not a good place to Earth: a space pirate’s dream when it comes to booty, but not a good place to hide when bounty hunters come looking. Pulling up stakes means Rafe must leave his vintage trailer behind, but in the process, he acquires a passenger, a mouthy female who seems to think she’s calling the shots. She’ll soon learn who’s the captain.

And it isn’t Annabelle, his bossy ship.

Travel the galaxy with this gypsy pirate as he looks for treasure–and finds trouble instead. The universe might be out to get him, but he’s not giving in without a fight.

Get Your Copy!

Eve Langlais’s Page | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Amazon.com

 

About Eve Langlais:

~ New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Hello, my name is Eve and I am a Canadian author who loves to write hot romance, usually with hot shifters, cyborgs or aliens. I should warn you that I possess a twisted imagination and a sarcastic sense of humor something I like to let loose in my writing. I love to write, and while I don’t always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because I love a happily ever after. Thanks so much for coming by and checking me out. If you’d like to know more, read some excerpts or find out what’s coming next, then please visit me at http://www.EveLanglais.com Or sign up for my new release email list at http://www.evelanglais.com/newrelease Happy reading! Eve Langlais

Connect with Eve:

Website | Facebook | Fan Group | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

Enter Eve’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 26th

blissfully bookerized Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews Excerpt

Socially Awkward Book Nerd Excerpt

Barbara Book Reviews Excerpt

Books Need TLC Excerpt

August 27th

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty Excerpt

Milky Way of Books Excerpt

Evermore Books Excerpt

Deluged with Books Cafe Excerpt

I Smell Sheep Guest Post

August 28th

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium Excerpt

DazzledbyBooks Excerpt

Aria Kane Excerpt

AReCafe Playlist

Rabid Reads Excerpt

August 29th

Aly’s Miscellany Playlist

cody pimps authors Excerpt

Typical Distractions Excerpt

Paranormal Book Boyfriends Excerpt

Danielle’s Domain Excerpt

August 30th

Queens of the darkside Excerpt

The Book Tree Excerpt

Have Words Will Scribble Excerpt

Adria’s Romance Reviews Guest Post

Rock Out With Sweet Reads Excerpt

August 31st

Evermore Books Excerpt

Alpha Book Club Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More Excerpt

Penny for My Thoughts Guest Post

Escape Inside the Pages Excerpt

September 1st

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures Excerpt

Adventures in Writing Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café Excerpt

Booklover Sue Dreamcast

Have Words Will Scribble Excerpt

Books 2 Blog Excerpt

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ( Harry Potter #8) by JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

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Goodreads Summary:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

**Side Note:  I was that adult-child that went to the Barnes & Noble midnight release party to get this book! My fangirl heart was so freaking ecstatic!**

My Review

Ok, bare with me folks, I have so much to say and sort through in this jumbled emotional heart/mind of mine. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads, but it was most definitely a hesitant 5 stars! I’m going to do my best to write this review without giving away spoilers.

I was both extremely excited and super nervous to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Harry Potter is the epitome of my childhood; it will forever have a special place in my heart. Therefore, I tried to go into this book with an open mind, but it was so hard to keep that mindset as the super fan that I am. So naturally I had to restrain myself from picking it apart. I knew that it wasn’t going to be written by JK Rowling, or at least not entirely, and I knew that it was a script written for the stage. I honestly got used to the script format fast, so that was definitely not an issue.

The book picks up directly from the “Nineteen Years Later” epilogue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows right from there. The time absolutely flies by; skipping from year to year, but for the most part it follows the lives of Albus (Harry’s middle child) and Scorpius (Draco’s only child). I absolutely loved reading about Harry’s children and seeing my beloved characters as adults. The entire plot/concept was so unexpected and had me completely riveted from beginning to end.

However, there were so many times that I found myself thinking “he would never say that” or “that just doesn’t seem like it would happen that way; this isn’t JK Rowling speaking through her characters.” So to put it plainly, I could really tell that it wasn’t the same author. Any fan who knows the books well enough will be able to as well. There were just many questionable lines of dialogue throughout that had me going “um…what?!” hell there were even super cheesy lines that I just couldn’t fathom how they fit into the story. On the other hand, there were some parts that had me tearing up at how happy it made my heart to see things play out the way that they did. So of course there was plenty of awesome mixed in with the not so awesome.

I am torn between viewing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as an actual 8th installment to the series, or just as an entirely separate entity that may or may not be considered as “factual” in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I mean it‘s Harry Potter, I’m gonna kind of love it by default, but that doesn’t mean that my stickler true-fan heart won’t argue the differences, and how they take away from the sanctity of the world and its characters’ legacies. Nevertheless, the story of Harry Potter will go down in infamy, and that is a seed that was planted long before there was ever talk of an 8th book. To me, my heart lies with the original 7, The “Magnificent Seven.” I would still recommend any fan read this story, it definitely satisfies that burning need to delve back into the world. I’m honestly dying to reread them all again now, or at least finish listening to them on audio.

Buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Amazon here, or essentially anywhere else that sells anything on this planet (they’re literally everywhere).

If you have read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, check out this awesome Buzzfeed article: 96 Thoughts I Had While Reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Review: Spell Bound (A Fairy Retelling #3) by Dorian Tsukioka

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Goodreads Summary:

Sold into slavery – Entwined in magic – Destined to die

In order to save her family, Aniya sacrifices herself as a slave to Rahotep, the High Priest and second most powerful man in all of Egypt. In the dungeon of the palace she finds herself entwined in both magic and a budding romance with one of Rahotep’s own servants.

The High Priest has his own plans for Aniya — plans that lead to her death. Aniya is faced with choosing her own path or sacrificing herself once again for the sake of those she loves most.

Spell Bound is a fairy tale retelling woven with threads of magic and sacrificial love. If you like page-turning action, surprising twists and turns, and heroic love, you’ll love Dorian Tsukioka’s newest fairy tale adventure into the mystical world of ancient Egypt. 

My Review

Spell Bound will take you back to Ancient Egypt on a mythical adventure. After reading one of the Fairy Retelling books previously, I knew I was “bound” to enjoy this addition to the series! This is the first book in an Egyptian setting that I’ve read, so that definitely took some getting used to, but it made for an overall unique story that I had never encountered before.

Aniya is only a child when she is stripped of her family and livelihood and sent to live in the palace. Although she is originally taken prisoner, once she discovers she has magical talents she is soon given a higher title than she ever could have imagined. However, not all is what it seems, and before she can blink, her life gets flipped upside down and she finds herself on a trip she never intended to take.

Spell Bound had a swift plot filled with magic, mythology, and suspense. There was never a dull moment. Though some parts of it happened a little too fast for enjoyment, the overall story was genuinely inspired. I could really tell that Tsukioka had done her research and put a lot of effort in letting that show through the events that transpired. The ending was sweet and completely satisfying. If you’re looking for a quick fun read and a trip back in time, then Spell Bound is the book for you!

Buy Spell Bound on Amazon here!