Book Review

Lost Talismans and a Tequila by Annette Marie {ARC Book Review}

Lost Talismans and a Tequila by Annette Marie2
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Title: Lost Talismans and a Tequila (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #7)
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher:
Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: July 10th, 2020
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 5 out of 5.


My rating in words: 
NEW ALL TIME FAVORITE!

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

You know that squirmy sensation in your gut when you have no idea what you’re doing and you’re about to screw everything up?

Yeah, that feeling.

I thought I was a good judge of character, but recent events proved me very wrong. Now, in a brilliant demonstration of my newfound caution, I’m putting all my faith in a demon—a demon who’s tried to kill me before. The squirmy feeling is making sense, right?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other options. Ezra’s time is almost up, which means I need answers and I need them fast. So it’s time to toughen up, pack my gear, and find me one of the most illegal, reviled, and scarce mythics out there: a demon-mage summoner.

And all I have to do is follow a demon’s instructions on where to look. How could that go wrong?


THE GUILD CODEX

Spellbound Series:
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)
The Alchemist and an Amaretto (#5)
Druid Vices and a Vodka (#6)
Lost Talismans and a Tequila (#7)
Damned Souls and a Sangria (#8)

Demonized Series:
Taming Demons for Beginners (#1)
Slaying Monsters for the Feeble (#2)
Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped (#3)
Delivering Evil for Experts (#4) 

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MY THOUGHTS (contains minor spoilers):

Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“What depth of resilience did it take to lose everyone you loved in a single day and keep going? What kind of resolve did it take to suppress the demon inside you, day after day after day, and keep going? How much tenacity did it take to face a life of loneliness and secrets that would end in death and madness, and keep going?”

Let’s see… I finished this book in a day while feeling the complete maelstrom of emotions, I immediately started again from the beginning and I thought about these characters for the whole week afterwards. Clearly, it’s been another Annette Marie masterpiece.

Every single time after finishing one of these books, my heart is so full that I feel like I could write sonnets about the story and the characters and yet I’m so emotional that it takes a good while for anything coherent to come out other than OMG – I LOVE IT – READ IT – SO GOOD – GAH – AWW – KEYBOARDSMASHkflrfdjk…. So please bear with me while I try to translate this emotional gibberish into a coherent list of everything I loved about Lost Talismans and a Tequila.

The buildup
We are now seven books into this series and just one book away from the ending and I just have to say that the plot buildup of this series (as well as Demonized, which intertwines with Spellbound) has been nothing but pure and utter genius. I love how every book so far has been it’s own self-contained story with its’ own plot, quest, villain and yet at the same time, this entire series has been building up to the finale of it’s overall story arc and everything just flows so smoothly and is so exquisitely done! We are now almost at the end (*cries*) and the way all the pieces are coming together towards one major villain and towards the sure-to-be explosive finale is just mind blowing. This book especially has answered so many questions and has provided so many little epiphanies throughout the story, from character’s backstories and motivations to an entire overarching conspiracy and common villain. Whoa, okay? Just, whoa. (Look, I said I would try to be coherent, I didn’t say I’d be 100% successful).

Also, THAT scene crossing over with the Demonized characters? That has got to be both the most anticipated and most deliciously satisfying scene ever and made me even more eagerly anticipating the finale(s)!

The characters
I think I already mentioned this in every single one of my reviews, and yet it deserves to be mentioned again and again and again, because it’s pretty amazing how attached I have grown to these characters ever since I started reading this series. These characters and, most importantly, their friendship will grow on you so much that they will get under your skin and before you know it you’ll be like me and tearing up over a scene where they are joking about pizza toppings. You have been warned.

Also, I feel like this book delved into every character just a bit a deeper. We learn some more about Tori’s past and how it shaped her character and actions even today. We got some Ezra POV chapters which were so eye-opening, especially in combination with the closer look at his troubled past. And even though the gang is a bit splintered in this story, the connection between all of them feels even more present than ever. There’s a sort of revelation Tori has about Aaron that made me tear up. A Kai reunion scene also made me cry and you know what else? Even Makiko grew on me. Oh, and then there’s another character which I’d been hoping would become more invested in the story for a while and that happened and was everything I hoped for and more.

The romance
Can I just say that I am in awe at the way Annette Marie weaves romance into her stories? I’m very picky about romance in books – I like it angsty, but I need it to have lighter moments as well. I like it present and a driving force for the characters, but I don’t want it to overpower the story either. See? Picky.

But I adore the romance in this series (just as I do in any other Annette Marie story). It’s never been overpowering the story, but it’s always been present and is once again a driving force in this installment. And let me just say that it’s been especially satisfying in Lost Talismans, when certain feelings are finally admitted to each other!

The action
OH MY GOD, this was so intense! I mean, there’s a reason I finished the book in a day. It is simply impossible to put down. From start to end, this was just such an adventure and it was wild and unpredictable and fun and scary and angsty and I loved being along for the ride.

Overall, I have to admit this has been one of my favorite installments in the series. This series overall is just becoming more and more perfect to me and I adore every single minute spent reading it. Please don’t hesitate to read it. It has it all: nail-biting action, angsty yet hopeful romance, a ton of humor, jaw-dropping plot twists, brilliant conspiracies, twisted revelations and most of all, a lot of heart.

Five Stars
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Author bio:

Annette Marie
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Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Tell Me:
Have you already read any Annette Marie books? If so, please feel free to rave and fangirl with me!

Lindsey xoxo
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Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

6 Comments

  1. Definitely not a surprise that you loved this one! 😀
    Stephanie @ Bookfever recently posted…Can’t-Wait Wednesday: High Flyer by Michelle DienerMy Profile

    1. Haha, at this point it would be a surprise if I didn’t love any of this series 😉

  2. Sophie says:

    I too am a HUGE Annette Marie fan. I’ve read all her books EXCEPT for the spellbound series. I started book 1 and just couldn’t get into it, so DNFd around a quarter of the way through. I had just finished the Steel & Stone series at the time and Three Mages & a Margarita just didn’t give me the same feels. Should I try again and push past the first few chapters? Did everyone else get hooked right away or is it just me that didn’t get hooked as quickly with this series?

    1. Ahh I’m so happy you’re also a huge Annette Marie fan! Her books are just sooo good! <3
      I'd definitely recommend pushing past the first few chapters of Three Mages and a Margarita. I have to admit that, even though I really liked the book, I really only got hooked in the second half of the book, and even really from the second book. BUT THEN! It's definitely such a great series, with great friendships, romance and action and I hope you'll give it another chance and end up loving it as much as S&S!

      1. Sophie says:

        You’ve sold me! I’m gonna give it another try.

        1. That’s great! Feel free to let me know how the story works for you the second time 🙂

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