Apr 28, 2018

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Shades of Magic
Number of Pages: 400
Goodreads I Amazon

"Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and 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."
This book has been on my TBR list for over two years, so I was really looking forward to reading it when I got my hands on it. I really enjoyed the originality of this fantasy in that the magic was very complex, and the author created multiple different worlds within the novel in order to develop a very interesting plot. It was almost as if Schwab had created four different dimensions, but the rulers were each aware of the others' existence. I thought the conflicts that this created were very interesting. 

I loved the two main characters, Kell and Lila, because they were very strong and determined but where Kell was methodical, Lila was very impulsive and devious. I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two that this created because it allowed for a lot of humor and banter which I really enjoyed. This book is definitely filled with a lot of action, but it is more focused on the political dynamic and conflicts between the worlds which sounds boring, but it is really interesting!

The pacing of the plot is really well done because I did not feel as if the relationships between the characters were being rushed, and I think that is what I loved most about the book. It felt very realistic. Also, the descriptions of the magic and the action scenes were amazing, and I could not even try to put the book down during those scenes.

Overall, I really loved this book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good fantasy novel. This is listed as a Young Adult novel, but I would definitely say that it could pass for an adult novel just without any mature content. My immediate instinct was to go find the second book, and that is what I am currently reading.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Apr 25, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #68

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Number of Pages: 336
Release Date: May 29, 2018

"Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.
But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere."

Apr 19, 2018

Excerpt Reveal: Lie To Me by Natasha Preston

Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Natasha Preston
Release Date: April 23, 2017
Goodreads I Amazon

"At nineteen, Savannah Dean escaped her family, leaving behind a note and the people who caused her so much pain.
Now, she lives on her own and keeps to herself.
At nineteen, Kent Lawson’s girlfriend betrayed him, leaving him behind with a broken heart and a whole lot of mistrust in women.
Now, he lives on his own and shares himself with nearly every pretty thing that walks by but only for one night.
When Savannah and Kent meet, they can’t stand each other.
Kent knows she’s hiding something, and he despises liars.
And Savannah has nothing but secrets."

Preorder Your Copy Today!

Wednesday rolls around way too fast. I have a whole evening with Savannah. It’s been really nice these past four days that she’s been out of my life. Yet, the whole time, I’ve been craving the way we snip at each other.

I need help.
I cut my engine outside her building and look up. Apparently, she lives up on the first floor and faces out toward the road.
Is she looking at me right now?

Why I feel the need to get out and buzz her apartment, I don’t know, but somehow, I find myself getting out of the car and walking toward the building. I stop at the front door, realizing that Heidi told me what floor Savannah is on but not the number. Or she might have told me, and I just didn’t listen.
This is a great start.
I’m about to call my sister when I see Savannah through the glass, walking down the stairs to ground level.
Fuck me.

Has she always looked like that?

She’s wearing a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and a grey off-the-shoulder shirt, but she looks sexier than any other woman I’ve ever seen in a little dress.
Why don’t I like her again?

Her steely eyes, looking even more prominent with the colour of her top, warily eye me. Our last encounter wasn’t exactly pleasant.
She opens the door and smiles. “Hi, Kent.”
My back stiffens. “Savannah.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind taking me tonight? I can Uber.”
And there it is. This is why she fucking bothers me so much. I feel like telling her to call a fucking Uber then. She always sounds so unsure of herself, like every tiny thing a person does for her is some massive inconvenience. Why?

“It’s fine,” I spit.
She folds her arms, carefully because her fractured arm hasn’t healed. It does take away a little of the dramatic flair she was going for. “Do you need to take a nap before we go?”
“You’re cranky.”
“You’re too polite.”
“Being polite is a bad thing?”
I flex my jaw. “Yes.”
“Fine. Get in the car, and take me.”
The intent behind her words is clear; however, I hear it completely different and laugh.
She rolls her eyes. “Don’t be a knobhead, Kent. Take me to your parents’ house, I mean.”
“Knobhead. I’ve not heard that one in a while.”
Savannah takes another long breath. “I really don’t know why I thought accepting a lift from you would be a good idea. In fact, I didn’t. I still think it’s a bad idea.”
“You always follow through with bad ideas?”
“Tonight, I am.”
Fuck yeah. I love this fighting side of her. It’s like, when I rile her up enough, the cover slips, revealing the real Savannah. I’m not sure if she’s hiding something the way Freya was.
“You should work on that. I don’t do anything I don’t want to.”
She tilts her head to the side, fire and determination in her eyes. “Oh, you wanted me to come tonight? And you wanted to be the one to pick me up?”
“You’re hot when you’re angry, Savannah.”
Actually, she’s hot all the time. It’s just, right now, she’s the whole package.
“You always use bullshit like that to deflect from someone calling you out?”
“You’re the first woman to call me out.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” she mutters.
“Do you want to argue on your doorstep all night or get to my parents’ for dinner? I’m cool with either, just checking to see which way you’re leaning.”
She drops her arms, one still bound tightly in a splint. “I’m hungry.”
“Excellent, let’s go then.”
UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since.
She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.


Apr 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #67

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Number of Pages: 512
Release Date: May 22, 2018

"When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other."

Apr 3, 2018

ARC Review: Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel

Author: Shaila Patel
Series: Joining of Souls #2
Publisher: East Girl Publishing
Number of Pages: 325
Amazon | Goodreads

"Empath Liam Whelan is determined to protect Laxshmi "Lucky" Kapadia, the girl he loves, at all costs--even if it means breaking her heart to keep her alive. Stopping the joining cold means Liam's life is in danger from the Soul Seekers and the ruthless Minister Gagliardi who now has designs on Lucky. Liam has no choice but to find the strength to fight his desires, fight the joining, and fight fate.
After the unthinkable happened, Lucky's "hallucinations" have been working double-time. Heartbroken and plagued by doubts, she meets a man who gives her a mind-blowing explanation for her predicament. Her apparent savior provides her with an escape from her hell: run away with him or return to her drab existence and watch Liam move on with her heart in his hands. All Lucky ever craved was to be in control of her own fate, but when her only choices fight against her heart, can she find the strength to battle for what she wants?"
I am absolutely obsessed. I've read this book three times already and I can not get enough. I didn't know it was possible, but Shaila made her already amazing characters even more incredible.

The first thing I feel like we have to talk about is the writing. I've read the first book, Soulmated, several times and after reading Fighting Fate, the growth in the author's writing is blatant. I'm not saying that the writing in book one wasn't good--it was, but this book just flowed better. The writing had more emotion to it and I found myself laughing, feeling heartache, and many other emotions a lot more just because the writing was richer. 

We also have to talk about the characters in this book. Lucky and Liam have had so much character growth since book one of the series. Lucky was a very relatable teen girl in the sense that she did not hide her feelings about being upset with Liam. It was refreshing to see a female character that actually expressed her true emotions when it came to heartache and love. Liam was just the Liam that we grew to love in the first book. We got the flirtation, the humor, and the protectiveness that we expected plus extra. My favorite thing about him in this book was that I felt that he was funnier in a flirty kind of way. 

I will warn you all right now, that Shaila Patel did us dirty once again. The cliffhanger in this book was WAY worse than the ending of the first. I am dying to get my hands on book three so hopefully, she writes fast! I 10/10 would recommend reading this book and if you haven't read the first, please do! This series is one of my favorite diverse books out there.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author for an honest review.