Anoshe — A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab {Book Review}

a-conjuring-of-light-by-v-e-schwabTitle: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date:  February 21st, 2017
Standalone/Series: Final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy
Genre: Adult – Fantasy

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My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: All-time favorite

 

Warning: Spoilers for book one and two. Minor spoilers for A Conjuring of Light.

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Name One Hero Who Was Happy – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller {Book Review}

The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerTitle: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date:  September 20th, 2011
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Fantasy – Historical – Mythology

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite

What it’s about:

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

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A Thin Line Between Love and Hate — The Hating Game by Sally Thorne {Book Review}

the-hating-game-by-sally-thorneTitle: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date:  August 9th, 2016
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Contemporary – Romance

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: NEW ALL-TIME FAVORITE!

What it’s about:

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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Hello, New Favorite! — A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab {Book Review}

a-gathering-of-shadows-by-v-e-schwabTitle: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date:  February 23rd, 2016
Standalone/Series: Book 2 in the Shades of Magic trilogy
Genre: Adult – Fantasy

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: NEW ALL-TIME FAVORITE!

What it’s about:

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.

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The Brighter The Light, The Deeper The Shadow — Nevernight by Jay Kristoff {Book Review}

Nevernight by Jay KristoffTitle: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date:  August 9th, 2016
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: Adult – Fantasy

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite

What it’s about:

The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

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The Adventure of a Lifetime – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab {Book Review}

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabTitle: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date:  February 24th, 2015
Standalone/Series: First book in the Shades of Magic trilogy
Genre: Adult – Fantasy

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: LOVED this book!

What it’s about:

Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

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Sing Me A Song Of A Lass That Is Gone – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon {Book Review}

Outlander by Diana GabaldonTitle: Outlander (Outlander #1)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date:  June 1st, 1991
Standalone/Series: Book one in the Outlander series
Genre: Adult – Fantasy – Historical – Romance

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My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Really liked this book

What it’s about:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi NovikTitle: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Really liked this book

What it’s about:

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

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Book (and Movie) Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy WeirTitle: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: February 11th, 2014 (first published 2011)
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction – Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Really liked this book

 

What it’s about:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

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Book Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen HooverTitle: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Romance – Contemporary – Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I liked it

 

What it’s about:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

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