July Wrap Up

This month has been full of reading amazing books as well as starting back up completing my masters. I read a good amount of books along with completing a 24 hour reading challenge with other Aussie readers.

The books I read this month were:

  • Lords of Pain by Angel Lawson
  • Twisted Love by Ana Huang
  • Little Love by Kelly Ash
  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May
  • The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
  • The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
  • Her Personal Demons by Ginna Moran
  • Dead Wolf Falling by Rory Miles
  • Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  • Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
  • Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen
  • Lion Heart by Jolie Vines
  • Devious Little Liars by Elle Thorpe
  • Kiss of War by Clara Elory
  • Sisters of Shadow by Katherine Livesey
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
  • The Shadowed Flame by Naomi Hughes
  • Boys of Brayshaw High by M. Brandy
  • These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan
  • She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
  • For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten
  • Whisper in the Dark by Charlene Perry
  • Bound to Submit by Laura Kaye

I have reviews coming soon to my blog on the books I have read! So keep an eye out.

The Rose Daughter Book Review

The Rose Daughter is the seventh book in the Supernatural series by Maria Lewis. I would like to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.

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She never meant to be a hero…

In fact, Dreckly Jones has made a point her whole life to be exactly not that. The daughter of a forbidden union between an earth elemental and a selkie, her rare powers have meant she has always had a target on her back.

So Dreckly – a 40-something oyster shucker according to her fake documents, 140-something sprite if you’re going to get all nit-picky about it – has become an expert at many things. Chief amongst them: hiding.

When she meets a determined group of rebels who desperately need her help, she finds herself wanting to stick her neck out for the first time in a long while. Yet is she ready to be noticed? Is Dreckly willing to use her powers to stand up when it could cost her everything?

REVIEW

The Roe Daughter is an urban fantasy novel and I love the world that Maria has created and the characters that live within the world. 

I liked the world in which the story is set with an interesting mix of supernaturals who live alongside, but hidden, from most of humanity. Lewis succinctly explains the history and politics, and while it’s obvious there are links to story and characters from previous books, they don’t have any notable impact on this story.

I’m definitely intrigued to read the other books in the Supernatural Sisters world.

5/5 stars

Realm Breaker Book Review

Realm Breaker is the first book in a new series by Victoria Aveyard. I would like to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.

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A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

REVIEW

I haven’t read Aveyard’s Red Queen series which I will definitely will be reading soon but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Realm Breaker.

The world is beautifully created and the characters are wonderfully thought out. 

There is POV changes every chapter, allowing you to follow different people throughout the book, seeing how everything is influenced and how each character plays a part in the overall story. If you aren’t one for multiple POVs, be aware that there is 6 POVs that you will be switching between.

The characters are all amazing but I really enjoyed following Corayne, the chosen one for saving everyone. I liked how she dreamed of doing more and accepting although unwilling at first to held save the realm. I did like all the characters though.

I loved the ending but I can’t wait for the next book to come out. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Realm Breaker and look forward to continuing this series as well as reading Red Queen.

4/5 stars

She Who Became the Sun Book Review

She Who Became the Sun is the Radiant Empire series by Shelley Parker-Chan. I would like to thank Pan Macmillian Australia for the review copy.

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To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything.

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

REVIEW

She Who Became the Sun is a Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy.

It is a history fiction with fantasy aspects in a time period I haven’t read before so I enjoyed diving into the unknown.

The way in which we are introduced to all the characters and see how each one impacts the story was beautifully told.

I loved the characters and the relationships they have. Zhou Chongba was such an strong character who did everything she could to live. Her story arc was incredible.

I’m looking forward to the next book.

4/5 stars

For the Wolf Book Review

For the Wolf is the first book in the Wilderwood series by Hannah Whitten.

Content Warnings

  • self-harm for magic use (cutting)
  • parental neglect/emotional abuse
  • mentions of physical symptoms that might be triggering to those with emetophobia
  • anxiety/panic attacks
  • parental death
  • gore
  • mild audio/visual hallucinations
  • religious abuse
  • medium-heat romance (non-explicit)

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As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole

REVIEW

For the Wolf is a dark fantasy novel that is medium paced which draws on elements from multiple fairy tales- Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White. I was captivated by the premise from the start and the writing is descriptive, making the story extremely atmospheric. I could imagine all of the locations and characters. There are strong family themes which was highlighted by the sisters and their unconditional love for each other. Other themes include include love and sacrifice which was perfectly balanced.

Red is the type of protagonist I love- brave, determined, strong, love of reading and a caring individual who wants to do what’s right. Eammon is such a great partner for Red. There was the perfect amount of romance with a super-slow and natural build between Red and Eammon.

Throughout the book we also see what’s happenings with Neve and how she never gives up on getting Red back, which leads to such an interesting plot twist. When see what was happening with Neve, you were able to see how it affected the Wilderwood and the truth of what happened in the past is revealed.

Whitten pulls you into this world of danger and romance and doesn’t let you go. After the cliffhanger, I can’t wait for the next book.

5/5 stars

Gilded Serpent Book Review

Gilded Serpent is the third book in the Dark Shores series by Danielle L. Jensen.

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THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY

Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.

His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.

BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN

Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.

Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.

REVIEW

The story really benefits from all four of the main characters being in the same book. I don’t care that this book is super hefty because of it – give me 600 more pages. i dont care that there are constant POV switches – its an adrenaline rush jumping from each adventure to the next. it definitely enhances the story having everyone within the same pages and i am so looking forward to the day when all the POVs finally cross paths. 

I’m looking forward to what happens next.

5/5 stars

Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows book review

Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows is the first book in a new series by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne.

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In a world of magic, can science save the day?

Wednesday Weeks never wanted to be a sorcerer’s apprentice. She’d rather study science than magic. But when her cloak-wearing, staff-wielding grandpa is captured by a power-hungry goblin king, Wednesday must find a way to embrace her magical heritage and rescue him from the dreaded Tower of Shadows.

Luckily, she’s not alone. Her best friend Alfie is a prime-number fan and robotics expert who’s all-in on Wednesday’s epic plan involving parallel universes, swords of power, and a wise-cracking talking skull.

But it’s going to take more than science, magic, and the world’s cutest robot to take down this bad guy. Because the goblin king is playing for the ultimate prize – and Wednesday and Alfie just walked into his trap…

REVIEW

I really enjoyed the mix of magic and science is the fantastic beginning to the series. I enjoyed the interaction between Wednesday and Alfie and can’t wait for the next book.

4/5 stars

Odin’s Child Book Review

Odin’s Child is the first book in the Raven Rings trilogy by Siri Petterson.

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15-year-old Hirka has always been an outsider in the world of Ym: she’s the only person without a tail, and the only one unable to access the Might, a current of power that runs through the earth.

Her differences become more and more of a concern as the date approaches for the Rite—the ceremony where everyone is to be blessed by the all-knowing Seer and the Council of powerful families who rule in His name. With only a few weeks until the Rite, Hirka discovers the shocking secret behind why she is tailless and Mightless: she is not from this world. As an infant, she was brought through an ancient stone circle known as a Raven Ring, and as long as she’s in Ym, the passageway between worlds remains open inviting terrifying creatures called the blind to follow.

No one can know the truth of Hirka’s identity, especially not Rime, her childhood friend who just might become something more. But is Rime is hiding secrets of his own?

REVIEW

Odin’s Child is about thousand-year-old secrets, forbidden romance, and what happens to those who make a deal with the devil. It is a slow paced fantasy epic that follows three characters through the book.

Each of the characters are so different. We follow Hirka who is 15 years old, who is very different to everyone else and never feels like she belongs, Rime who is older than Hirka and has a competition between them where they earn points and Urd who has dark motivations that we discover through the book.

I found this book slow to read, but truely ended up loving the interactions between Rime and Hirka. I can’t wait to see how their story arcs develop in the next book. This book is both plot and character driven and has deep foundations in Norse mythology.

I’m definitely going to dive into the next book The Rot and the final book The Might. I can’t wait til they are released.

5/5 stars

Six Crimson Cranes Book Review

Six Crimson Cranes is the first book in the Six Crimson Cranes duology by Elizabeth Lim. Other books by Elizabeth Lim include the Blood of Stars duology- Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk.

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Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

REVIEW

I have yet to read the Blood of Stars duology, however reading Six Crimson Cranes has me wanting to read them even more.

Six Crimson Cranes follow Shiori who is the princess of Kiata who is trying to save her brothers and the kingdom. I loved the world building and enjoyed following Shiori throughout. 

The characters were all interesting and loved the pacing of meeting new characters. Shiori is such a strong character and loved her interactions with all the people she met. Her relationship with her brothers Hosho, Reiji, Yotan, Wandei, Benkai and Anadahai were all unique and different which was a joy to see. 

I loved meeting her fiancé as well as Sergu and liked how these relationships changed. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.

5 stars

The Eighth Wonder Review- Blog Tour

The Eighth Wonder is written by Tania Farrelly.

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New York, 1897. The richest city in the world. 

Beautiful, young and privileged, Rose Kingsbury Smith is expected to play by the strict rules of social etiquette, to forfeit all career aspirations and to marry a man of good means. But she has a quietly rebellious streak and is determined to make her own mark on Manhattan’s growing skyline. When the theft of a precious heirloom plunges the Kingsbury Smiths into financial ruin, Rose becomes her family’s most tradeable asset. She finds herself fighting for her independence and championing the ideal of equality for women everywhere. 

Enigmatic Ethan Salt’s inglorious circus days are behind him. He lives a quiet life on Coney Island with his beloved elephant Daisy and is devoted to saving animals who’ve been brutalised by show business. As he struggles to raise funds for his menagerie, he fears he will never build the sanctuary of his dreams … until a chance encounter with a promising young architect changes his life forever. 

Just when Rose is on the verge of seeing her persistence pay off, the ghosts of her past threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. In the face of heartbreaking prejudice and betrayal, she must learn to harness her greatest wonder within.

REVIEW

I love historical fiction and I’m enjoyed books surrounding the circus. This book is pitched as a crossover of the Greatest Showman and the Suffragette which has me interested in reading it. The ideas of finding your own place in the world allowed me to see myself within the characters.

I loved the character development and the relationship between Rose and Ethan. I enjoyed exploring the different friendships and relationships within the book and definitely will read the book again.

4/5 stars