Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

I can’t take it anymore! Things are getting way too intense. I know how it all ends, but still, it’s just so much. 

The golden trio is growing up. It amazes me that in every book, the growth is so evident. After finishing each one, I was struck by the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione had changed. In this one, they have to overcome yet another hurdle in their relationship. What I mean is that Ron and Hermione finally get more serious, but of course, it’s not as easy as all that. I don’t think it’s ever that simple with Ron and Hermione. They always seem to take the long bumpy road rather than the straight and easy one. Which was sometimes frustrating, but I think that’s the nature of their relationship. Then there was also Harry and Ginny. Sooo cute. I really love Ginny, I think she’s a great fit for Harry. 

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

It was really great to learn about Voldemort’s origins. So far I’ve been thinking of him as a black picture – he’s just bad. But this added so much more depth to him and also showed the reasons for some of his actions, as horrible as they might be.

And Snape! I’m trying to figure him out, but I just can’t! He’s too good at what he does. 

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

One thing that annoyed me a bit was the way that Harry constantly questioned Dumbledore. I thought that Harry should trust Dumbledore a bit more considering that he is one of the greatest wizards. I constantly thought, ‘Alright, Harry, relax. Dumbledore knows what he’s doing.” Maybe, though, all these questions came out because Dumbledore was the only one who had answers. 

Well, on to the next one! Hold onto your hats, friends. This is going to be a wild ride. 

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”

Book Reviews

The Crown of Rosemund by Michele Ashman Bell

BLURD

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and eliminated.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

MY REVIEW

This was a fun adventure! The idea behind this story was compelling and exciting.
But I had a really hard time getting through this book…. Especially at the beginning, there was a lot of telling rather than showing. It slowed the plot down a bit. And there was so much dialogue! I know there are readers who love dialogue; it’s just not for me.
The relationship between Jacob and Rose was really sweet and his loyalty to her was to be admired!
This book wasn’t a personal favourite for me, but I know there are others who have loved it. So maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

Book Reviews

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

In this sequel to the Orphan Queen, Wilhelmina and Tobiah must fight against all odds to stop the wraith from destroying both of their kingdoms. 

“No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together.”

The character development for Wilhelmina was fantastic. She had to learn what it meant to be queen not only in name but also in action. She was forced to make some decisions that were not at all easy and that her haunted afterward. Despite this, she persevered and always strove to do what was best for her people. Tobiah went through many of these struggles too, as well as grappling between duty and desire. Plus, he had some pretty big secrets he was hiding. The first time I read this a few years ago, I remember being quite shocked. Chrysalis was an interesting addition to this story, but I felt that he was terribly mistreated. Yes, he was made of wraith and he often acted without considering the consequences, but I thought that Wilhelmina could have been a little nicer to him. It felt like she either ignored him or yelled at him. 

“Sometimes we hate others for the things we hate in ourselves”

I loved that Meadows finally took us to Aecor. After all the hype around this country, it was great to be there; I just wish there was more time spent exploring it and getting to know the culture.  

I also found that the first ½ of the book was rather slow. It felt like they spent a lot of time talking about the problems and not doing too much to fix them. Despite this, I did still enjoy the book overall and would love to read some more by Jodi Meadows.  

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was no profanity or sexual content. 

“Reasons we should get married:
Because I love you.
We both look good in black boots.
I spent some time without you, and I didn’t like it.
You make me happy.
I make you laugh.
I like the way you fight.
You see through my masks.
I really love you.
You love me, too. (Though you’ve mostly said this while yelling, so perhaps I should have double-checked.)
Army of tiny vigilantes. (I have name ideas.)
Various political reasons that make sense but don’t fit with the theme of this list.
I’m holding your handwriting hostage. You can have it back when you say yes.”

Until next time!

Animals Waving Bye 14 | Animals, Cute animals, Baby sea otters
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.  

22909838

“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!

Animals Waving Bye 14 | Animals, Cute animals, Baby sea otters
Book Reviews

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

I’ll be honest, this was a bit of an impulsive read. I have seen it on the library shelves quite a few times, but I was never interested enough to check it out. With the libraries closed, I saw it on the available e-book shelf and thought, “Why not? It has a pretty cover.” 

Do I regret? I don’t know what to think… I read the whole thing so that’s something, right? But let me be straight with you, this book is about teenagers who are special and so, are bought by the nobility to be their surrogates. This concept as a whole is a little cringy to me. It’s so twisted. Which I suppose is true for other novels well. I think one factor that made it bearable was that it was women who headed this. In fact, men are hardly present. Well, except for Ash. A few words on that relationship… It felt like it happened so fast and they were asking to be caught. I did like how they connected because of their backgrounds and their status as “slaves.” It was such a relief for Violet to have someone that she could connect with and who understood her. 

The writing was quite engaging. Ewing did a good job of keeping things moving and always having something interesting going on. Also, the world-building was really well developed and lastly, I especially loved the place that music had! 24585267. sy475

I can’t say I really recommend this book; I especially do not recommend it for younger teens. Not only do Ash and Violet sleep together, but the whole concept of impregnating young women against their will is not an upbuilding topic. Perhaps in the next book, Violet breaks free from this system, but I do not think I will be reading book #2.   

Stay safe, everyone!

And wash your hands. 😉

Just Washing My Hands GIF by PM_ME_STEAM_K3YS | Gfycat

Book Reviews

Jackaby by William Ritter

Hello blogging friends! I know it has been a while since my last post, but as I’m sure you all understand, things have been absolutely upside down lately.

Anyway, on the bright side, I’ve had more time to read. I’ve missed being able to sit down with a book so I am looking forward to tackling my to-read list. The first book I chose to read was “Jackaby” by William Ritter

“This world is full of dragon-slayers. What we need are a few more people who aren’t too proud to listen to a few fish.”

Now, to be honest, I usually don’t care for books written by men. (No offence guys!) I just find it harder to relate to the characters especially since it is written primarily from a male POV. However, Jackaby is written entirely from Abigail’s POV which I was a little leery of at first. But my skepticism quickly dispersed! Actually, I must applaud Ritter. I was pleasantly surprised by how he presented Abigail and in fact, how he portrayed all of the characters.

Firstly, Abigail was courageous, if not a little reckless, and intelligent and quite obviously eager for adventure. At one point she is a little down because the people around her seemed to be special in some way and she was not, but I actually found this quite compelling. We so often read about heroines who have all kinds of special abilities and whatnot, but Abigail still accomplished much even though she did not. What can I say about Jackaby….? I loved his quirkiness! Even his crazy hat. He is a unique and intriguing character who is, of course, modelled quite closely after Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed this, though, and found that the supernatural element was a fun twist.Beastly Bones (Jackaby, book 2) by William Ritter

My one qualm was that although the setting was America, I got London vibes the entire time. The atmosphere felt very English for some reason.

Lastly, this was a delightfully clean read.

I am quite sure I will be reading the next book and am especially interested to discover if Charlie Cane will appear again.

TTFN! Stay healthy and well! ❤

Emma

Book Reviews

Finding Balance by Kati Gardner

This was a really sweet and at the same time heartbreaking and empowering story. Although it is fiction, it still felt real because these are real-life struggles. I am sure the author used many of her personal experiences to inform the story and that gave it a rich depth.

35615200
This is Book #1 in the Brave Enough Series. (Isn’t the cover gorgeous!?!)

Mari was a champion of a character. Despite the fact that people continued to degrade her for her physical appearance, she kept her pride and continued to soldier on. In the book, she keeps saying how she’s not some sort of hero, but I think this previous fact makes her a hero. At times, even those with less challenging situations are not as strong as her. 

At the beginning, I totally disliked Jase. However, I did eventually warm up to him. I think, though, that the transition from them being hostile to liking each other was a little quick. Suddenly, they were totally in love and I still had 30% of the novel to go. With that said, I did find that there was a good deal of unnecessary dialogue and this made the story drag. Other than that, though, the plot was fairly solid.   

Unfortunately, this was not a clean read. There was a fair amount of coarse language. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. 

 

 

Book Reviews

The Navigator by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Often I love the first book of the series, but then I’m not as crazy about the second one. The Navigator though… it was amazing! Related image

The story started out a little slow, but once the crew arrived in Neverland… I had to hold on to my hat because I got sprinkled with pixie dust and there was no way I could keep my feet on the ground. Neverland was a magical and beautiful place that held many marvellous things such as mermaids, dragons, imps, and of course, the much-feared Croc. This last one, the croc, was intelligently worked into the plot and I wonder if he’ll come up in the next book. I have a suspicion that he might…  

Now, of course, Wendy Darling. As usual, she was brave and daring and although she was looked down upon as a woman, she made a place for herself as the navigator. The naivety that she seemed to possess in the first book, dissipated as she experienced death and war. Really, her character development was phenomenal! Over the span of these two novels, she has grown so much. Now about Peter… In this book we learn a detail about Peter’s past that was so shocking, yet made complete sense. I did not see that one coming! And suddenly, I totally love Peter and I am desperate to know what will happen to him. Is there something between Wendy and Peter? I’m not sure… I suppose I will have to find out. Related imageYet, of course, I must mention Captain James Hook. I’m still not sure how I feel about him. He’s somewhere between villain and good guy, but it’s a little grey. I don’t like how he treats Wendy most of the time, but he does have his moments where he seems to have a heart. 

Once again, the writing was beautiful! It was neat, but at the same time colourful and exciting. 

“The gray veil now hung behind them, and before them lay the sun-bright shores of Neverland, its emerald green foliage and pearl white beaches stretched out upon a turquoise sea.” 

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was violence, but there were no sex scenes and the level of language is very low. Which makes me love this book even more! 35510314. sx318

I’m am so excited for book #3! And if you haven’t read either of these books yet, then you must! They are absolutely captivating and will keep you reading far into the night because you just need to know how this adventure will unfold. 

P.S. Book #1 only has 229 reviews! This is horrendous! Please, give it a read and write a review. Even if it’s only a few sentences, it will be helpful. 

Book Reviews

Lost Boy (The Neverwood Chronicles #2) by Chanda Hahn

Image result for the neverwood chronicles

I loved Lost Girl! It is one of my favourite Peter Pan retellings. It was so original and exciting. 

Lost Boy was enjoyable as well. It was fun to continue the adventures of Wendy, Peter, Jax, John, Tink, etc. I was especially intrigued by how Wendy would handle her situation since the last events of Lost Girl left her with no memories. This was an exciting twist and created numerous complications. Through it all, though, Wendy grew stronger and more independent. It feels as if in this story, she became a true warrior. I also enjoyed the development of the shadows and how they played a larger, more intimate, role in Lost Boy. Hopefully, this continues in Lost Shadow. 

And about that ending… It broke my heart! No spoilers, so I won’t say anything else, but it was so distressing and left me worried about what will happen next.   Image result for the neverwood chronicles

Despite the exciting points, I felt that there was a lot left unsaid. Where exactly did Wendy and Peter’s relationship end off? Whose side is Jax really on? Why doesn’t he just tell the lost boys what’s going on instead of telling them that they must release him or else bad things will happen? And the movie theatre scene with Jeremey? A little cringy and unrealistic. If they had really been talking that much, the other viewers would have kicked them out.  

There was also a number of grammatical errors which was disappointing because the first book was better in that department.   

Lastly, this was a clean read, although, Tink’s swearing is frequently mentioned. 

In spite of feeling a little let down by Lost Boy, I am still looking forward to reading Lost Shadow. 

 

Book Reviews

Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer

I was expecting a fairytale retelling or at least something along those lines, but Wolves and Roses is not your typical fairy tale retelling. 

This book follows the story of Bryar Rose who is told that her life is the Sleeping Beauty template and that she mush marry her prince charming on her eighteenth birthday after which her curse will be broken etc. etc. But my goodness! What ensued is definitely not your typical fairytale. Bauer took multiple fairytales and worked a complex plot around them. It was creative and exciting!

While Bryar Rose was a good protagonist, the characters as a whole were rather bland. They were a little too perfect and although they seemed to have the lives of adults they acted and were said to be in their teens. It was kind of weird. Once, Bryar and Elle comment on having stolen from a company for years. But that doesn’t totally make sense because if Bryar is 17, years would have made her around 13 (15 at the oldest). The inner wolves of Knox and Bryar were rather annoying. Especially Knox’s wolf would not stop commenting on how Bryar was a good mate. Strong mate. Smart mate We find best mate. etc. etc.  Also, the romance was rather cringy… 

“Knox stretches, and since he’s still wearing his rock star pants and fitted T-shirt, I’m really enjoying the view. Knox is ripped…” 

Enough said. Moving on.

While I was engaged most of the time, I can’t say I was a huge fan of the writing. To me, it felt rather unprofessional. 

“I click through pic after pic.”

Image result for fairy tales of the magicorum

“This is me, going for the door.” 

While I don’t mind that in dialogue, I don’t care too much for it in the storytelling. 

Lastly, this was not a clean read. While there is no sex, at times the characters use strong language – especially Knox.   

Altogether, this was an interesting read, but I don’t think I will be reading the sequel.