Review: Ace of Shades

Ugh I miss real summers. I miss long days of field hockey training and pre-studying for fall classes. I miss late nights with friends and days spent by the pool. I miss unlimited reading time. If you can, put off being a read adult for as long as possible. These days, my summers are filled with meetings and workshops and entirely too much work! I feel like I end up reading LESS during the summer, because somehow work is always so crazy during the summer! I’ve been reading the Smoke Thieves (which is great, by the way) for over a week now, and I’m still less than half way through it because of work and working out and commitments. I need a vacation where all I’m doing is reading!

Ace of Shades 4 star 4/5 Stars

Earlier this month, I finished Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody and it was so good! I think the whole rival gangs and ousted monarchy things are great and I love the whole Vegas feel that the city of New Reynes was giving off. This was one of those books that I hadn’t read or seen too many actual reviews of, but I had seen the cover almost everywhere, so I pretty much just picked it up because of that. I think the premise of you last names being your dominant and non-dominant abilities is super cool. I also really loved the interplay between Levi and Enne. And the plot twist in the middle? Man, even though I was expecting it, I still really, really liked it! I cannot wait to read the next one!

 

Have you read Ace of Shades yet? What did you think about it?

Advertisements

All of the Vikings, All the Time (Repost)

Apparently, there’s something weird going on with WordPress, and my scheduled blogs don’t seem to actually, you know, go out when they’re scheduled to go out… so just in case y’all missed it, here’s my blog from Saturday about Sky in the Deep!

 

Thank you so much to  nicolinesimone at copenhagencolours.wordpress.com for commenting on my post about Royals and voting for my next book review to be on Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young! Since I had already written a post about Legendary, I posted that one first, but I got started on my review for Sky in the Deep as soon as I saw the comment!

Sky in the Deep is one of those books that I’ve been looking forward to for a really long time. I first heard about it before yallfest last year, so probably late October or Early November of 2017. It was one of those arc drops that I couldn’t miss at yallfest, so I made sure that my friend Bee and I had built it into our schedules. I started reading it in December, but then I had like a rolling group of like 4 library books that always ended up having to take precedence over my arc for Sky in the Deep because, you know, due dates etc. Once it came out, I was able to actually read it by listening to an audiobook while driving to and from work. My total commute is only about an hour, so it’s not too bad, and listening to an audiobook while driving is one of my favorite things about having to commute to and from the office everyday!

As an aside, one thing I’ve learned about myself in the past few weeks of writing reviews is that I am REALLY bad at writing book summaries! I feel like I know exactly what’s going on it the book, so I get to writing, and then I get too distracted by little details and my summaries end up sounding pretty terrible… so if that happens here, definitely go check out the real summary for Sky in the Deep on Goodreads.

Sky in the Deep 4 star 4/5 Stars

This book deals with two rival Viking clans- the Aska (the clan from which our main character Eelyn is from) and the Riki. Eelyn seems to be your normal Viking, doing normal Viking things like fighting her clan’s mortal enemies alongside her best friend. During the Aska and Riki’s normal fighting season, Eelyn sees something she can’t believe- her brother who has been dead for the past 5 years! Eelyn follows her brother (you know, just to make sure he’s not a ghost or something), and ends up being captured by the Riki. Now, Eelyn is a prisoner/servant in the house and tribe that her brother (who is- spoiler alert- actually alive!) is now a part of. Eelyn needs to escape, as soon as possible, so she can get back to her village, but somewhere along the way, she starts seeing the similarities between the Aska and the Riki. And then, she starts seeing the Riki as real people and not just as “the enemy.” Then, tragedy strikes both the Riki and the Aska and they have to see whether they can work together or have both of their clans wiped out.

When I started this book, like right at the beginning, I was a little worried that it was going to be one of those super hyped books that I ended up not liking, but like maybe 30 minutes into the audiobook, I changed my mind. I started actually connecting with the characters and I couldn’t stop listening! This was my first ever book about Vikings and now, let’s be real, I want all of the Viking books! The one thing I had a little bit of an issue with is the romance in this book. At some points, the only thing I could think of is Stockholm Syndrome…

Have y’all read Sky in the Deep? Did y’all like it?

All the Vikings, All the Time

Thank you so much to  nicolinesimone at copenhagencolours.wordpress.com for commenting on my post about Royals and voting for my next book review to be on Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young! Since I had already written a post about Legendary, I posted that one first, but I got started on my review for Sky in the Deep as soon as I saw the comment!

Sky in the Deep is one of those books that I’ve been looking forward to for a really long time. I first heard about it before yallfest last year, so probably late October or Early November of 2017. It was one of those arc drops that I couldn’t miss at yallfest, so I made sure that my friend Bee and I had built it into our schedules. I started reading it in December, but then I had like a rolling group of like 4 library books that always ended up having to take precedence over my arc for Sky in the Deep because, you know, due dates etc. Once it came out, I was able to actually read it by listening to an audiobook while driving to and from work. My total commute is only about an hour, so it’s not too bad, and listening to an audiobook while driving is one of my favorite things about having to commute to and from the office everyday!

As an aside, one thing I’ve learned about myself in the past few weeks of writing reviews is that I am REALLY bad at writing book summaries! I feel like I know exactly what’s going on it the book, so I get to writing, and then I get too distracted by little details and my summaries end up sounding pretty terrible… so if that happens here, definitely go check out the real summary for Sky in the Deep on Goodreads.

Sky in the Deep 4 star 4/5 Stars

This book deals with two rival Viking clans- the Aska (the clan from which our main character Eelyn is from) and the Riki. Eelyn seems to be your normal Viking, doing normal Viking things like fighting her clan’s mortal enemies alongside her best friend. During the Aska and Riki’s normal fighting season, Eelyn sees something she can’t believe- her brother who has been dead for the past 5 years! Eelyn follows her brother (you know, just to make sure he’s not a ghost or something), and ends up being captured by the Riki. Now, Eelyn is a prisoner/servant in the house and tribe that her brother (who is- spoiler alert- actually alive!) is now a part of. Eelyn needs to escape, as soon as possible, so she can get back to her village, but somewhere along the way, she starts seeing the similarities between the Aska and the Riki. And then, she starts seeing the Riki as real people and not just as “the enemy.” Then, tragedy strikes both the Riki and the Aska and they have to see whether they can work together or have both of their clans wiped out.

When I started this book, like right at the beginning, I was a little worried that it was going to be one of those super hyped books that I ended up not liking, but like maybe 30 minutes into the audiobook, I changed my mind. I started actually connecting with the characters and I couldn’t stop listening! This was my first ever book about Vikings and now, let’s be real, I want all of the Viking books! The one thing I had a little bit of an issue with is the romance in this book. At some points, the only thing I could think of is Stockholm Syndrome…

Have y’all read Sky in the Deep? Did y’all like it?

4 Reasons Why Legendary by Stephanie Garber NEEDS to be Your Next Read

OMG Legendary is one of my top favorite books this year and I just can’t get over it! I really liked Caraval, but Legendary is next level.

Legendary 5 star 5/5 Stars

Here are the top 4 reasons why you absolutely HAVE TO read Legendary ASAP!

1) The Fates– I’ve read lots of books where the fates/fate plays a pretty integral part of the story, but this is the first one that I’ve read where the Fates are tied in with Tarot Cards. I’m a sucker for Tarot Cards- I think card reading and fortune telling is really cool and so much fun (even if it isn’t real at all). Seeing them tied together the way they were was a fun new twist.

2) Dante– Ah Dante, my love. Even though he didn’t really come off as an amazing character in the first book (and he definitely had his faults in the second book), I still really loved Dante in this book. He was funny at points, sweet at other points, and a giant douchebag at times. The interplay between him and Tella was really well written. It was always fun to have a wild Dante appear (Pokémon reference, anyone?) at any given point in time.

3) All the secrets– Do you like books with secrets? Where no one is telling everyone else everything? Well, let me tell you, EVERYONE in Legendary is keeping all the secrets. Everyone is keeping so many secrets, and having them come together at the end was great. And speaking of the end…

4) THAT ENDING– Holy crap that ending. Did I kind of see part of it coming? Yeah, but I definitely didn’t imagine that ending to really end up being what it was. Now, I really want Finale to be in my greedy little fingers ASAP (rather than, you know, May 28th of 2019).

Have you read Legendary yet? Were you as excited about it as I was???

We’ll Never Be Royals

Man, for some reason, weekends always kill me. I always have so many things to do, and I tell myself that I’m going to be super productive, but then I never actually get anything done! And then, of course, on weekdays after work and working out (you know, trying to be healthy and all that jazz…), I never have any motivation to get any of the things on my to do list done (like taking bookstagram pictures or writing up book blogs, or heck, even getting more reading done!).

I think one of the reasons that it’s so hard for me to get things done on weekends is that I always write my blog posts on my work computer, and I HATE opening my work computer up on weekends (or even after work on weekdays). I think that’s a sign I need to go ahead and buy myself a new personal laptop. The one I have right now is from back in 2011 when I started college and it won’t even turn on unless it’s connected to the charger and even then it’s so slow! I don’t really want to spend like $2k on a new laptop though (I only want a new macbook pro, so that’s why it’s going to be so expensive)- I’m trying to buy a house in the next year/ year and a half (#adulting) and spending $2k that I could be saving up for a down payment or for furniture is definitely not something I really want to do.

But enough about life/adult issues- time to talk about books! I’m super behind on writing reviews. I still need to write one for War Storm, One Dark Throne, Furyborn, Legendary, and Sky in the Deep, but today, I’m going to write about Royals by Rachel Hawkins. I’m a huge sucker for cute romances (but mainly only in the summer- I like more serious/heavy books in the fall/winter) and Royals was no different.

Royals 4 star 4/5 Stars

Daisy Winters is a normal 16 year old, well as normal as one can be with bright red hair (like Ariel from the Little Mermaid) and, you know, a sister who is about to marry the prince of Scotland. After the engagement, and some terrible publicity for the royal family because Daisy’s jerk of an ex-boyfriend, Daisy gets shipped off to spend the summer in Scotland where the royal family’s image consultant can keep an eye on her and… minimize the damage.

While in Scotland, not only is Daisy supposed to attend all sorts of upper class functions, she’s pretty much supposed to become an all together new person to do that. She’s supposed to become… normal and refined! That becomes even harder when Prince Alex’s (Daisy’s future brother in law) little brother Prince Sebastian and his crew of mischief makers come onto the scene. Prince Sebastian is not at all what Daisy expected. He’s rude, and honestly, kinda gross. His friend Miles on the other hand is definitely swoon-worthy. It’s time for Daisy to make the most of her royal summer in Scotland (and hopefully not destroy her sister’s relationship in the process)!

Overall, I really liked Royals! Was it realistic? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a super fun read! I understand why some people on Goodreads really didn’t enjoy it- none of the Scottish elements really 100% made sense and the names were very Americanized, but the story itself was super cute. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, quick, and easy read!

Have you read Royals yet? What did you think about it?

What review should I write next? War Storm, One Dark Throne, Furyborn, Legendary, or Sky in the Deep?

Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen

I need to get better at this whole writing reviews from home thing- the way I’ve done this so far is that I’ve written my reviews at work in between meetings and other work, and that definitely doesn’t seem to be super sustainable. Other book bloggers- when do you write up your posts? Is it something that you do while you’re reading/right after you’ve finished a book or do you write a bunch of blogs at once, or something totally different? Is there some sort of best practice for this? Maybe I just need to read a little less and write a little more…

 

Daughter of the Pirate King 3.5 stars 3.5/5 stars

Daughter of the SirenQueen 4 star 4/5 stars

 

I finished reading Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen about a week ago, and I’m so glad I finally read them! They were such fun, cute reads and I really enjoyed how easy Tricia Levenseller’s writing was- did y’all see that she’s writing a new book about Vikings that’s set to come out in 2019? So much excitement!

 

Daughter of the Pirate King introduces us to Alosa, the actual daughter of the pirate king. At the very beginning of the book, she gets captured by another pirate set of pirates, but then we find out that getting captured was her plan (so devious). I thought the beginning of the book was a little silly, but the middle/end of the book after Alosa’s secret is revealed was so much better/more interesting!

 

In Daughter of the Siren Queen, Alosa and the Ava-Lee have found the last piece of the map to the island of the sirens, but before setting of for the island, Alosa finds out a secret that turns her world upside down- instead of having been abandoned by her mother, Alosa’s mother has been kept prisoner by her father! Alosa frees her mother and then suffers another blow- her mother, who she just rescued, mind you, jumps off of her ship and actually abandons her and her crew to the wrath of her father, the pirate king.

 

Overall, I thought that these books were super fun! I definitely recommend them to anyone who needs a break from the more serious YA fantasy novels (like War Storm). I loved all of the characters and the whole crew of the Ava-Lee!

 

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

May Wrap Up

This May, I finished 10 books, which is a little less than I thought I would read this month, but War Storm was SO LONG, so that took me longer than expected. I’ve also been sicker than normal this week, so all of that extra sleeping has meant less reading that I would have wanted. I’m aiming for 15 books read in June, so let’s see if I can actually make that happen.

May Reads:

The Wish Granter 3 star 3/5 Stars

A Court of Frost and Starlight 4 star 4/5 Stars

The Traitor Prince 3 star 3/5 Stars

Legend 4 star 4/5 Stars

The Diviners 3 star 3/5 Stars

City of Heavenly Fire 4 star 4/5 Stars

War Storm 4 star 4/5 Stars

Daughter of the Pirate King 3.5 stars 3.5/5 Stars

Sky in the Deep 4 star 4/5 Stars

Daughter of the Siren Queen 4 star 4/5 Stars

Top 3 Books read in May:

War Storm- I love the Red Queen series and I think Victoria Aveyard ended Mare, Maven, and Cal’s story in the best way possible. While this book was super long (over 600 pages!), I think it did a really good job encompassing everything needed to really give a satisfying ending without drawing things out or making things seem too quick and easily tied up.

Daughter of the Siren Queen- I had been sitting on Daughter of the Pirate King for about 7 or 8 months, planning on reading it at some point, just not now, and then my hold on Daughter of the Siren Queen at the library got checked out to me, so I had to start reading them. While I was just ok with Daughter of the Pirate King, I liked Daughter of the Siren Queen so much! I thought that Alosa was a little less self centered and definitely less annoying, and I love Riden in general. I also really enjoyed being able to really get to know the crew of the Ava-Lee. The story seemed to be better paced and it was just a cute, fun summer read.

City of Heavenly Fire This was the month of finishing series for me. Not only did I finally finish the Mortal Instruments Series, but I finished the Red Queen series, all of the currently published Ravenspire books, and the Feyre/Rhys story arc for ACOTAR. I read City of Heavenly Fire as an audiobook on the way to/from work for like 1/2 of the month, and it was so good. Sophie Turner was one of the narrators and I thought that she was an amazing narrator. I liked this as the ending for the Mortal Instruments books, and since I’ve already read the Infernal Devices books and the Dark Artifices books, I loved seeing Tessa and Jem as well as the Blackthornes and Emma. It felt like I was coming back to family.

3 Least Favorite Books read in May: (NOTE: none of these books were bad or even less than 3 star books- they were fun reads and I don’t regret reading them, but they weren’t the most amazing ones I read)

The Wish Granter- I loved the Shadow Queen when I read it earlier this year, so I was so excited to read the other two Ravenspire books. Both the Wish Granter and the Traitor Prince was good books, they were just a lot slower than I expected. They had great plots and were really interesting re-tellings of classic fairy tales, I just wish that they had been a little more plot driven. I loved most of the characters in this book (well, let’s be real, I loved Ari. Thad annoyed me.)

The Traitor Prince- Like with the Wish Granter, I thought that the Traitor Prince was a good book, and I really enjoyed reading it, it just moved more slowly than I would have liked. Rahim seemed like an interesting character, and even though he was evil, I was rooting for him in some parts, because he was so much smarter and more wily than anyone gave him credit for! I also really enjoyed all of the easter eggs from the other books that were sprinkled throughout this one. They really tied everything together and brought me back to the parts of the first two books that I liked.

The Diviners–  I liked the Diviners- don’t get me wrong. There were so many interesting aspects to the book and I learned so much about the 20s, which is definitely a time period that I know pretty much nothing about. There were too many characters that weren’t really explained (I’m 90% sure that’s setting up for the future books, which I’m for sure going to be reading) and so much going on that didn’t really have anything to do with the main story. I can’t wait to have everything tied together in the next book or two.

 

What all did y’all read in May? Anything you really enjoyed or really did not enjoy?