Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

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Sooo I’ve never read this series before…. I know, I know! Don’t shoot me. I was a little curious about what all the hype was about, but I never had the motivation to actually acquire copies of this series. Now that I’ve read the first book, I think I understand. J.K. Rowling creates a world that is colourful and absolutely bursting with creative attributes. There were so many times when I thought, “Wow! What a brilliant idea,” or was astounded by how unique and imaginative it all was. It makes me curious about Rowling’s thought process and also super impressed!

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Harry was, of course, a sweet and brave boy with perhaps a streak of recklessness. Sneaking a dragon up to the astronomy tower at midnight…? Well, I suppose it was for the greater

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good. I loved Ron and Hermione, Harry’s best friends. They were adorable and their friendship was admirable; although, there were definitely a few bumps in the road. Then there was also Hagrid and Dumbledore and Neville and so many more characters. I enjoyed them all! Even Snape’s creepiness was great. The negative characters gave the cast such a full dynamic. Of course, he-who-must-not-be-named was a chilling villain and the fact that everyone (except Harry) was afraid to say his name made it even more so.

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The world-building was absolutely marvellous. Rowling makes everything so vibrant and colourful that you almost, for a little while, believe Hogwarts is real and that your letter will come by owl any day.

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

The pacing of the story had a nice rhythm to it. I think because there was so much to experience and discover, I was kept engaged. I’m curious to discover if this will be the same in the following books. Which leads nicely into my last statement. I will definitely be reading the next book! I actually have already started…. If you have not read this book (which I highly doubt), then you should. If not for the enchanting story, then at least for the experience. Harry Potter is a classic (and I can see why now), so you should add it to your list alongside books such as The Chronicles of Narnia.  

Bye for now!

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Book Reviews

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows

This is my second time reading The Orphan Queen and even though I knew what was going to happen, I still found myself being swept away by the story. 

“I was there was the war began. And when it ended.”

The world that Meadows creates is unique and enchanting, yet dangerous and harsh. It was thrilling to join Will as she went undercover as a refugee noblewoman and navigated the court and the streets of the Indigo Kingdom. Will was brave and kind and independent, not only in taking care of herself but also in the decisions she made. She wasn’t afraid to go against what other people wanted her to do especially if she knew it to be wrong. And Tobiah? Who is the real Tobiah? It was almost hard to get to know Blackknife because Will and him did a lot of fighting and not so much talking. Then with the prince, I was never quite sure how he actually felt about something. One thing I’m a little confused about is whether or not Tobiah knew who she was the whole time. I think he did, but I’m not sure if that was super clear.  

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“Oh, nameless girl. When will you learn to trust me?”

As for the writing style, the main thing that I really loved about this book is how Meadows is able to just sit in a scene and completely fill it out. She doesn’t just drop us in a scene for a few pages, then move on to another, she actually lets us explore it and look around a little. I think this is definitely something I can apply to my own writing! 

“A queen who wouldn’t take risks for her people wasn’t worthy of being a queen at all.”

Before we go, I do want to briefly touch on the magic element in this book. It was interesting that it’s illegal and that throughout the story, Will’s relationship with it grows; and perhaps she becomes less afraid of it. But I’m a little confused about the wraith. What exactly is it? This might be explained more in the next book. I mean, why should the readers completely understand it when the characters don’t either.    

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was no profanity or sexual content, so I could fully enjoy this adventure. 

Ta ta for now!

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Court of Bittern Thorn by Kay L Moody

This was an enchanting start to Kay L Moody’s new series The Fae of Bitter Thorn. The protagonist, Elora was a brave and talented mortal who loved her family deeply and did not allow the tricks and glamours of the Faerie realm to sway her. Although, sometimes she did not make the most intelligent decisions (like when she took the red ribbon off) and it frustrated me a little that she wasn’t more careful upon entering Faerie. As for Prince Brannick, I cannot say he was my favourite. My opinion of him definitely improved as the story went along, but I found that he was rather full of himself and his appearance was too perfect. I don’t know about you, but it really bugs me when the male love interest is absolutely gorgeous. It’s just unrealistic and rather cliche. 

One of my favourite things about this book was the world of Faerie that Moody created. I loved all of the sprites and brownies and the different faerie courts. It was fun to join Elora as she explored this realm and as she, in a way, fell in love with it. While the writing was good, I cannot say that I was captivated by it. Although, that could be my personal opinion of enjoying colourful and flower writing styles. 

Lastly, this was a clean read which was lovely. I always enjoy a book more when it excludes profanity and sexual content. 

Thank you to Book Sirens for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Have a happy and spooky Halloween my friends!

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Book Reviews

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This was a lovely and unique adventure! Harrow has a beautiful writing voice that is quite charming. I think it was my favourite part of the book. I found myself lost in a forest of colourful descriptions and creative similies. It was quite enjoyable to read! 

“I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.”

Another thing I loved about this book was all the pieces that came together to form the ending. At first, when January began reading her book, I wasn’t crazy about the change. But as things went along, I became invested in this second story and wanted to discover how it would play out and fit into January’s. 

For the characters… January began as a naive and slightly timid girl, but as the story went along, she became brave and more independent. She even left her companions and finished her quest on her own. I was actually surprised at this. I had not expected this boldness from her, but at the same time, it felt right that she did this. Samuel was a sweetheart! Although, I wish their relationship was developed a bit more. But at the same time, this wasn’t the focus of the story, so it’s not a huge deal. The villain, Mr. Locke, was, yes, intimidating. However, I had a hard time transitioning from cold, unsympathetic Mr. Locke to psycho-leader-of-an-evil-society Mr. Locke. 

In terms of the plot, I can’t say it worked well for me. While I enjoyed the twist of a book within a book, at times it slowed the pacing down quite a bit. Also, the climax of the story had a different flavour than your typical YA novel. At least that it how it felt to me. There was an element of romance, but the ultimatum was the reunion of the family. It is not often that this is so central in YA literature and I liked that it resided so prominently in this book. 

Lastly, this was mostly a clean read, but there was some mild language.    

I hope you all have a fabulous day,

Emma

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Top 10 Quotes from Beautiful Beast

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Are curious about that book I keep talking about? You know that one that’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with the gender roles swapped. Well here are a couple of my favourite quotes along with some pictures from my pinterest board. Maybe that will give you an idea what it’s about. 😉

But honestly, I could not decide on an order so here they are: a jumble of syllables and consonants.

Late night treats by the fireplace. Dark and romantic.

“It is what you imagine the music of faeries to be like; it is ethereal, or like a thousand tiny bells played in melodies as intricate as the patterns of the starry skies.”

“This is my home. It breaks my heart to see it fall to pieces and know that there is nothing I can do to prevent it. I know that I should accept reality, but it is so much easier to live in a dream.”

“This prince, this soldier, sees the true beast and that should frighten me, but it doesn’t. It makes me stronger.”

“As I watch, a single bloody petal breaks from the bud and gently drifts to join its brothers and sisters upon the tabletop.”

“It would be natural for the fear to climb, to sink its talons into my sanity and clamber upwards, but somehow, I suddenly feel calm. Perhaps it is hope. Perhaps it is insanity. ”

Penny Dreadful

“I am a Vayliese and my magic is not a trivial thing that I use to keep my tea warm and turn moths into butterflies.” “We lie there together for what seems like a long while. Perhaps it is only moments, but time stretches its jaws and laughs at us.”

“In all of their portraits, my ancestors always bore themselves with pride and majesty, but I look like a rose that has wilted and been crushed under a gardener’s heel.”

“It whispers and screams and cries out all at the same time. In its tone, I hear something ancient and something darker than the dead of a new moon.”

“It all blurs together in a flurry of howls and blood and steel and brambles, but through the chaos, there is an abstract sort of peace. Because Arawn and I are no longer fighting each other, we are fighting together.”

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And what kind of list would this be without an honourable mention?

“Nearby, my rose is lying upon the ballroom floor. The petals glow softly in the dark and illuminate a piece of glass the size of a tea saucer. Carefully, I pick it up and look into it. Not just a piece of glass. A mirror.
And suddenly I know.
This is no dream. This is no fairy tale. A great beast has been woken from its slumber and has lifted its ugly, vicious head.”

Do you have a favourite? I’d love to know!

That’s all for now!

Emma

Beautiful Beast: Goodreads link and Amazon link.

P.S. Reviews are really important to authors. If you’ve read a book, then please write a review and give it a rating. Even a few words will be helpful!

Book Reviews

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Let’s begin with something positive, shall we? I simply adore the Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I will be the first to admit that the story is a little strange with the Phantom’s insane obsession over Christine. But the music is absolutely divine! So needless to say, I was intrigued by the promise of a book based on the famous story. 

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Firstly, I was not expecting it to involve vampires. Perhaps if I had dome some more thorough research, I would have discovered this before, but I didn’t, it came as a surprise when it was first stated. 

Second, let’s talk about our main character Rune. While I thought her twisted talent was interesting and could lead the story down various roads, I cannot say Rune was the most intelligent protagonist. Who lets themselves be blindfolded and escorted in a hearse to some off the charts club? Even if she was desperate for answers, this felt a little extreme. 

Thirdly, there was simply way too much explaining at the beginning. The first two chapters are spent with Rune in the limo and the reader primarily gets her thoughts the whole time. I felt like I was plowing through the words rather than being transported by them. 

But I’ve gone on long enough, I will leave it at this. Unfortunately, I do not recommend this book.

Goodbye for now!

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Book Reviews

The Sanctuary by Sidney Nesti

One is the world of imperfection and sorrow

Two are the beloved friends, forever divided 

Three are the kindred of the gods

Four are the Guardians 

Five are the kindred of humanity 

Six are the senses that lead to immortality 

Seven are the seals

Eight are the infinite infinities. 

This was an intense and adventurous read! I was worried that I would be a little lost since this is the second book of a series and I have not read the first. However, Nesti had the foresight to write a little summary of the previous adventures in the form of a letter from the protagonist to her father. While this was a lot of information to soak in right at the get-go, it was super helpful in grasping the context.

The main character, Jude, was determined and brave. She didn’t let her position as the Scion of Fire go to her head; rather, she was focused on finding the child, Ursil. He needed her help and it was her mission to help him. Sylvia on the other hand was pretty self-centred, but somehow, I still enjoyed the dynamic between the two sisters. I think perhaps it was their dependence on each other despite their differences and their growth throughout the story.

The plot moves at a comfortable pace and slowed only in a few places. As for the writing… The explanations were clear and I loved the balance between showing and telling. The style was simple, but I suppose that is a matter of opinion.
Lastly, this was mostly a clean read; although, there was a bit of language.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and I absolutely encourage you to read it and support this new author!

Bye for now!

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Beautiful Beast is Now Live

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Hi friends! I know you’re probably getting sick of me posting about my book, but this one is important because… BEAUTIFUL BEAST is now live on Amazon! I am so excited about this! I can’t believe that after everything it’s actually up there for the world to read.

If you haven’t read the blurb yet, here it is.

My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.

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Also, here are the Amazon and Goodreads links. If you would like to read some reviews, then visit Goodreads. 🙂

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Tags

Beautiful Beast Book Tag

Publish day is almost here!!! (June 8) And I am over the moon excited! To celebrate, I thought I would do a fun tag. Using the letters from my book title, I would like to share some reviews that I’ve done in the past. 🙂

B – Bandaging the Blitz by Phyll Macdonald-Ross & I.D. Roberts

E – The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

A – Ashes of Glass

U – Hearts Unshackled by Amy Klaus

T – Terraformer by Colleen Houck

I – If I Run by Terri Blackstock

F – Finding Balance by Kati Gardner

U – Hearts Unshackled by Amy Klaus

L – Lost Girl (Neverwood Chronicles #1) by Chanda Hahn

 

B – Beauty by Robin McKinley

E – Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay

A – A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

S – Shadow and Thorn by Kenley Davidson

T – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

 

Have a fabulous day! And if you find yourself in need of something to read, maybe take a look at the Prologue from Beautiful Beast.

TTFN.

P.S. Other indie authors out there, I would love to see which books you would use to spell your latest book title or even your WIP!