🌟 Arc Review 🌟 Empire of the Vampire, Exclusive Sample, by Jay Kristoff

Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this incredible exclusive sample of the amazing Jay Kristoff’s new book, Empire of the Vampire!

Okay… oookkkaaaayy now…. I feel like this was the freaking best thing I’ve ever read and I only read the first 400 pages out of a little over 700 pages of this book. What do I say? How can I convince everyone reading my little review that this is a masterpiece? First, it’s Jay Kristoff… that’s point 1 in favor of this book. Second… Vampires. All kinds of Vampires! I’m serious, so many different Vampires happening here and honestly, what more do you need in your life? A home, food, clothing, job etc….. AND VAMPIRES!!!!

Literally sate your thirst by reading this book, obsessing possibly, and perhaps giving it a bite or two just to make sure these pages aren’t actually full of vampire blood that would make you immortal, incredibly sexy with amazing hair, and the ability of becoming simply a very cool person that everyone who sees you stops and stares, wondering Who is that gorgeous brilliant super intelligent person and how can I become their best friend?

Okay, so that’s actually just some bs if you can’t tell. This book centers on Gabriel. He is part vampire but is taught with others like him to fight and destroy the full blooded Vampires and the wretched(mindless creepers roaming and attacking innocents). They are taught all the skills to fight but really their biggest weapon is their faith in God which lights up the silver tattooed on their bodies that is quite destructive towards the Vampires.

The reader really meets Gabriel years later when he has somehow been caught by Vampires and the main thing he is going through is just telling his whole story to a chronicler (vampire) named Jean-Francois. This is really brilliant. The back and forth between these two mixed with Gabriel’s incredible story is simply hypnotizing in the sense, for me, that it kept me very interested and I did not want to stop reading…. (honestly if someone could just, you know, throw the last 300 pages In my direction that’d be really great…)

I do not want to go into anymore detail because I think the story should be shrouded in secrecy and mystery. If you order the book I suggest sitting in a dark cold room in a creaky chair and reading by the light of a single candle. Or, perhaps a comfy couch or chair with a blanket and pillows and a puppy or kitten curled up asleep in your lap. Just, whatever.

Obviously I recommend this! Collect your vials of blood and be prepared to stay up all night reading this awesome book!

ARC Review 🌟 The Witch King by H. E. Edgmon

Wow! I cannot believe how much I loved this book! It was everything I need in an LGBTQIA+ Young Adult Fantasy right now.

Wyatt is my new favorite person.   A transgender gay boy who is really still trying to find their way in this world and how he fits.  This isn’t helped when his Fae fiance shows up in his backyard in Laredo TX and demands he comes back to Faery to face the future Wyatt believed he had escaped.

I love the friendships in this story, especially with Briar being that comforting source. And the love story blooming throughout this tale.   Wyatt is also not a perfect person,  he makes mistakes and I really loved reading his internal struggles which were often about feeling very awkward which is something I can really relate to.

Overall I thought this was an incredible read, really creative and full of insight.  I definitely recommend this!

Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley, ARC Review

Too much love can be dangerous, but too little love can be a curse.

I’d like to start by saying this book has a great map! If you know how I feel about maps then you know how important this is imo.

Tamsin is a witch and will cast spells for the citizens of her village for a very particular price: love. More specifically, the love that person feels for another. She does this because of a curse that took her ability to love, and Tamsin needs and desires to simply FEEL again.

Wren is the opposite of Tamsin in so many ways. She is vibrant and full of feelings and possibly a little naive. She is also a Source which means she is full of magic that can supplement a witch’s own power.

When a plague comes, a sickness that can steal a soul and make the whole world volatile and vicious, everything starts changing for Tamsin and Wren. They begin to work together and start on a journey to the Witchlands to help stop this black magic.

This story is exciting, twisty and turny, and even full of not just magic but references to classic fairytales that make this book even more fun. I adored the light romance and the interesting conversations between Wren and Tamsin that included some funny comments. Overall, an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend!

Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson, A Quick Review

Rysn travels with Chiri Chiri on her ship Wandersail to Aimia.  And really,  you just need to read and find out what happens because once again,  Sanderson has made the impossible possible!

I loved this short story.  It was heartwarming and full of fun characters that I love reading about,  particularly The Lopen.  I highly recommend this, especially to be read between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War.

Dark Shores by Danielle L Jenson, A Quick Review

Teriana is part of the crew of her mother’s Maarin ship, The Quicense.  But when the land they are currently trading with gets a new leader and finds out there is more to this world than the Cel, Teriana and her people are in a world of trouble.  
Marcus, a commander of one of the most dangerous legionnaire armies, is tasked with going with Teriana and travelling from the shores of the East to the dark shores of the West. 
This book includes an awesome trip by sea with a sea serpent and battles between the gods and more magic.   Not to mention… romance!
Can’t wait to read book two!

Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal, A Quick Review

Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal was such an interesting read. Much like the first book, I didn’t love the beginning but as I kept reading, the story opened my eyes and I saw the depth behind the imagery. These books question reality and the line between life and death, not to mention the sincere way the characters deal with grief. I wound up really loving this series and do recommend it.

Comes out February 9th!

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke, A Quick Review

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke is definitely an exciting story but it is not without its faults. The world is interesting and well done and I loved the characters but some things felt a little forced. Ren is a badass woman making her way through life by fighting and gambling for money to stay afloat but everything starts changing when Darek enters the scene and recruits her to join the rebel cause to overtake the throne. I enjoyed this read but the ending felt rushed and I simply think everything moved to quickly for me to feel a true resolution. The characters were well thought out. Adley and Lesa, Kellen and Holland, and Ren and Darek, separately were all great teams, but when they finally came together there just wasn’t enough explained for me to feel that there was true camaraderie between them and I feel the same about the romance between Darek and Ren. It’s a good story, I enjoyed the read but not one of my favourites.

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir, A Quick Review

“You are broken.  But it is the broken things that are the sharpest.  The deadliest.  It is the broken things that are the most unexpected, and the most underestimated.”

This book is such a great ending to this series.   I honestly did not know exactly what to expect, was Sabaa Tahir going to break my heart or give me a happy ending? Turned out that the answer is both.
The strength and tenacity of these characters is what makes the story so appealing.   They keep fighting no matter what, and at the same time,  they do not forget to laugh and celebrate life amidst all the tragedy.   This tale shows the essence of the effect war has on young people and their ability to overcome.  I love how the suffering in these books is what brings out the main characters magical ability.  That this hardship creates these unique gifts. 
A truly mesmerising series that I highly recommend!

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, A Quick Review

The Poppy War by R.F.  Kuang is such an incredible historical fiction fantasy series.   The first book was good, the second was great, and the third, The Burning God,  was devastatingly incredible.   Rin takes on her War  torn country with a state of ruthless unequalled by anyone.  The emotions run high in this saga and in this last book in particular.   This story is something I will never forget.  It is beautiful and painful,  and it’s not meant to be dismissed. 

The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige, A Quick Review

This book is about sisterhood, mixed in with mysterious secrets and, of course, it is brimming with witchcraft.
Vivi is moving on from a hectic life with her tarot card reading mom and moving to Savannah to attend Westerly. This is where she discovers a sorority name Kappa and meets the seemingly perfect Scarlett who will wind up becoming a major part of her life. Kappa is not a normal sorority. It is literally a sorority of witches and their sisterhood overflows with magic.
I definitely recommend this for a fun and quick read. I had a blast reading about all the awesome spellcraft and the more normal day to day life of an awkward college student. Overall a great read.