Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

The highly anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir’s New York Times bestselling EMBER QUARTET.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


My Review:

Well get ready to be mad at me folks, I’m probably totally going behind the majority with this book review, but I genuinely did not love A Reaper at the Gates nearly as much as the rest of the book world. Granted, I think this opinion probably comes from self-sabotage. Reading at a normal pace while in graduate school, especially Physical Therapy school, is literally impossible! This book took me all of last semester to finish! Literally 4+ months! HOWEVER, yes there is a however….I didn’t find myself invested enough in the story to want to choose to read at night over Netflix. I was just not engaged with the story this time, it devastates me because I loved the first two books, but alas, tis true.

A Reaper at the Gates picks up right where A Torch Against the Night left off with Elias as the new Soul Catcher, and Laia doing her best to fight against the empire from her end, all the while not knowing who to trust on her journey to free her people. Elias continues to work as the Soul Catcher, learning more about his abilities, but is caught between a world he doesn’t belong in and his feelings for Laia. However, as he grows in knowledge about his supernatural gifts, he grows farther apart from Laia. New secrets are revealed, and heartbreak is abound.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of this book, was the romantic struggle between Laia and Elias. It was like the entire world was against them being together and it just went from bad to worse! There were maybe 20 pages of the entire book of time spent with Elias and Laia in the same vicinity as one another, and to me, it just made the story drag more. I mean there were definitely some really exciting parts to the story and a huge reveal that was mind blowing that I absolutely did not see coming, but the rest of the time, it was pretty slow to me. I will still definitely see it through just to know how things work out with these characters, I’ve got to know how it ends regardless. There is supposed to be one more book, and I’ve committed this much time at this point, might as well finish it.

Buy A Reaper at the Gates on Amazon. 

 

Release Day Launch & Excerpt: The Prince (A Wicked Novella) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, comes THE PRINCE, a new novella in her Wicked Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new story in her Wicked series…

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

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EXCERPT:

Did it make you a bad friend if you were completely, a hundred percent envious of that friend? Yes? No? Kind of?

I figured it was somewhere in between.

That’s what I was mulling over as I watched Ivy Morgan brush thick, red curls over her shoulder, laughing at something her boyfriend Ren Owens had said to her.

At least I wasn’t envious of that—their love. Okay, well, that wasn’t entirely true. Pretty sure anyone who was as single as me would be envious of all that warm and fuzzy that was passed back and forth with each long look or casual brush of skin. The two could barely tear their gazes away from one another to eat the dinner we’d grabbed at the cute little diner inside the shopping center on Prytania Street.

I honest to God couldn’t be happier for them. They’d been through so much—way more than two people should ever have to go through to be together, and here they were, stronger and more in love than ever, and they deserved that happiness.

But their epic love story wasn’t the source of a current case of the green-eye monster that was sitting on my shoulder.

Ivy was just such a… badass.

Even right now, relaxed in the chair, surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights with her hand in Ren’s and her belly full of a cheeseburger deluxe and crinkle fries and half of my tater tots, she could kick ass and take names along with addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers.

If the proverbial poo hit the fan, you called Ivy or Ren.

If you needed to know what streets Royal intersected with, you called… me. Or if you needed coffee or fresh beignets but were currently busy, you know, saving the world, you’d call me.

The three of us were all members of the Order, a widespread organization that was literally the only thing that stood between mankind and complete, utter enslavement and destruction by the fae. And not the super cute fae found in Disney movies or some crap like that. Humans thought they were on top of the food chain. They were wrong. The fae were.

The only thing pop culture got right about the fae was their slightly pointy ears. That was it. The fae were more than just beings from another world—the Otherworld—they were capable of glamouring their appearance to blend in with humans. But all Order members, even me, were warded at birth against the glamour. We saw through the human façade to the creature that lurked beneath.

 

 

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 About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

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Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


My Review

Alrighty folks, it took me waaaay longer than anticipated to finish reading this book, I had some deadlines to meet, and then I didn’t want to bring this precious paperback on vacation to multiple beaches etc….well…life got in the way! So, over a month later, and I finished it! OMG it was insane!!! And my heart is broken knowing I have to wait till the end of October to know what happens (insert crying-winy face emoji)!

Empire of Storms was a whirlwind of action and plot developments that had me reeling! There were so many character perspectives that finally came together. It was amazing to at last see all the main characters gather in one place and work together toward a common goal. Prior to this book, that was completely unheard of. I think that’s what made this fifth installment all the more exciting. There were so many new interactions to experience. I would also 100% recommend reading the prequel prior to reading this book! It is absolutely necessary in order to truly grasp who is who! Quite a few characters from those stories resurface in Empire of Storms. It had me all sorts of excited to see them come back into play!

Readers will also be pleased to see new and budding romances all over the place! Romances that surprised the crap out of me at first, but then proceeded to baffle me with how much it just all made sense. Maas has a way of making the most unexpected of relationships blossom out of seemingly nothing, but she does it so well. The romantic dynamics in this book make for a lovely counterpart to all the fight scenes and heartbreaking developments.

Speaking of heartbreaking….the ending is absolutely shattering!!!!! Like tear your heart out, stomp on it, then set it on fire, then throw the ashes in the garbage disposal shattering. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and it all just hurt! I’m dying inside knowing I have to wait so long to find out what happens! I absolutely cannot wait for the ending of this series to come! I’m sure it’s going to be mind blowing! I would most definitely recommend you read book 5 of the Throne of Glass series.

Buy it on Amazon now!

 

Review: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.


My Review

Wowza! I knew I was taking a risk reading The Assassin’s Blade knowing what I knew from reading the Throne of Glass series, but damn, that didn’t stop this book from packing a punch. I absolutely loved this prequel, it was surprisingly exciting and provided an extra level of depth to the story I didn’t know I needed.

This prequel consisted of five stories of varying lengths. Each one centered around a new adventure Celaena experienced during her time as an assassin, more importantly, during her time when she still answered to Arobynn. That was most certainly an interesting dynamic to delve into. What a twisted and warped relationship, but so utterly intriguing. Arobynn’s feelings for Celaena were so skewed, yet you could tell that there was some level of true affection between the two. Although, the Celaena-Sam dynamic was of course the only one I really wanted to read about. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of time dedicated to their relationship. The moments you do glimpse are wonderfully sweet, and so completely heart wrenching. As a reader, you are given just enough of a taste, that when the inevitable ending comes, it does nothing short of tear your heart out. I thought I was ready for it, but folks, let me tell ya. I WASN’T READY.

Each one of these stories brought with it new tales and characters that we have only ever known from the later books. It was fantastic to meet them at their origin. Everything that makes Celaena who she is, is made all the more clear because of these stories. I am so glad that I read them. It was absolutely worth the journey.

Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTR #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.


My Review

After quite the long wait, I was so so excited to finally get my hands on this beautiful novella. And oh how sad I was to see it come and go so quickly. A Court of Frost and Starlight was a lovely glimpse into the everyday lives of Feyre and her friends as they face the aftermath of the events they have seen thus far.

For the first time in this series, we get to hear from not just Feyre and Rhysand, but Nesta and Cassian as well! Eep!! Actually you get to read the POVs of quite a few new characters this go around. And Maas has a way of pulling you right in as always. Despite the fact that this was a novella, I was still glued to the pages. Nothing particularly insane goes on in this book, but it doesn’t need to be wholly intriguing. Just seeing these characters live on after experiencing so much devastation was incredible. I felt like this book truly gives the reader a greater insight into the world that Maas has created, which is a rarity for many beloved series. And of course it hinted at the romantic events to come!

Reading about these characters again, especially Feyre and Rhysand was a dream! I will be sad to see their POVs go in the books ahead, but I’m so glad that this isn’t the last I’ll see of them. I’m very much so looking forward to reading Nesta and Cassian’s story in the next installment. Their story is sure to be a tumultuous one.

I would most definitely recommend you pick up A Court of Frost and Starlight if you’re a fan of this series! It is so worth the wait, if not a little bittersweet for how short it is.

Buy it on Amazon now. 

Review: Graceling (Graceling #1) by Kristin Cashore

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Goodreads Summary:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.


My Review

I have been looking forward to reading Graceling for well over a year now! I had heard mixed reviews but I was hopeful. Unfortunately, I think after having read most all of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a poor imitation in many ways. Which is even more unfortunate, because Graceling came out before Throne of Glass.

Graceling centers around the life of Katsa, a girl who is gifted or “graced” with the ability to kill. Many children across the kingdoms are born with different graces that allow them to have special abilities, some as mundane as being adept at swimming, while others are as intimidating as mind reading. All of her life Katsa’s grace has been manipulated by her devious uncle, that is until the day she decides to truly take matters into her own hands. Little does she know how drastically her life will be changed the day she decides to leave her home.

Katsa’s abilities allow her to be the perfect assassin, feared by all the land, and trained to kill even the most fearsome of creatures with only her bare hands. Seems badass it’s true, but unfortunately, the hype of events seemed to be understated when the author decided to make things move so quickly, I couldn’t even take the time to enjoy them. This was a common pattern with this story. Every time developments would begin, they were over just before they got good. I felt like the author stayed at the surface of everything. All of a sudden, boom, Katsa is leaving her uncle, boom, she’s in love, boom the conflict is resolved. Nothing was explained or drawn out just a little. And what was drawn out, was unnecessary to draw out. I just could not get involved in this book. I wish that’s wasn’t the case. The concept was most definitely intriguing, but the surrounding content just didn’t do it for me.

Many people feel differently than I do, so if you’d like to give it a try, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Buy it on Amazon now.

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sara J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


My Review

Queen of Shadows packed a punch, of that there is no doubt! This fourth book was riveting from page one. I never wanted to put it down.

This fourth installment picks up shortly after the events of book three end. Aelin returns to Rifthold to confront Arobynn, her old master and take back the third wrdkey. Now that she has fully accepted her birthright, there is no stopping her as she takes calculated steps to at last gaining justice for her family.

Queen of Shadow had so many mind blowing moments! My brain could literally not keep up with all of the insane twists and turns. Aelin pulls out all the stops in this book. She will do everything in her power to ensure her success. I was thoroughly impressed by her actions. These characters have really gotten under my skin at this point, and I am all in. There were moments when my heart shattered, and moments when the pieces were quickly falling back into place because of how wonderful the events were. This fourth book was definitely an emotionally strenuous experience.

The only thing that frustrated me was Aelin and Chaol’s relationship after reuniting. Gotta say, I wasn’t fan. Thankfully, there was hope for them by the end of the book. I also am standing firm with my irritation toward how quickly Aelin and Rowan’s relationship developed into a romantic one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really loving Rowan as a character. I just didn’t think his feelings for Aelin were given a solid foundation. But that’s my only little hiccup.

Regardless, Queen of Shadows was utterly fantastic, breathtaking, mesmerizing, need I go on? Read it now. Do it. Believe me.

Buy it on Amazon here!