Category Archives: Fantasy

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

Recently I fell into the world Leigh Bardugo’s when I read the Six of Crows Duology. I fell in love the dualogy and just couldn’t get enough of the world and wanted more from the Grishaverse. So, in order to fill the need, I decided to dive into the Grisha Trilogy. This trilogy is a mixture of royalty, magic and a character who must believe in herself in order to defeat the villain that wants power.

  • Title: Shadow and Bone
  • Author: Leigh Bardugo
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Page Count: 358
  • Author Site: Here
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Video

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

The first book in the Grisha Trilogy is called Shadow and Bone. This book is about a girl named Alina who lives in the country named Ravvak. And they are at war with many other countries but must fight against a hidden force called the Fold. Alina joins the military with her friend who she has strong feelings for. On a mission to the Shadow Fold things go wrong they get attacked. So, Alina ends up saving her friend which causes her to expose her power that she didn’t know existed. This gets the attention by the Grisha and the Darkling who takes her to the Palace to train to be a Grisha to help save the people of Ravvak. Soon, Alina learns secrets and how she must learn to believe in her self if she wants to save everyone.

BOOK REVIEW:

I will say that when I read Six of Crows I got a little taste of the Grisha elements and wanted to learn more. When I read Shadow and Bone, it was the focus on mostly the world of Grisha. There were people with magical abilities, strange creepy creatures that come out at night, a strong villain that you love to hate but can’t and a lovable main female character that makes you cheer you on. I really enjoyed the world Grisha from the magical aspects but also the world itself. It’s royal, glamorous and elegant. There is a lot of beauty but with the elements of secrets in every corner.

As for Alina, I really adored her. She isn’t the strong person in the book. She is pretty much your underdog, that wants to prove to herself and the world that she can do it. And I like how she keeps on trying to learn to be a Grisha. I also the moments when she is also funny and dorky. As for the Darkling. He is a very complex character with many sides. Someone you might want to watch for in the book who has loads of personality. He is dark, handsome, seductive but also someone who kind of catches you off guard. I won’t give too much away because I don’t want to spoil it.

Overall, I was happy I finally got the chance to read this last month and truly believe that Leigh Bardugo wrote a masterpiece. I loved it from the world to the characters that make me either tear up or want to get mad at. I can’t wait to continue this trilogy and see more. And if you are interested in checking out the book, I will have links below and until next time keep on reading.

Links:

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber Book Review

When I saw the cover for Caraval I knew I had to read this. I also been wanting to read a book with a Carnival type of story and thought why not? Caraval is a book by Stephanie Garber and this is the first in the duology. This book has a combination of magic, and puzzles with an element of mystery to solve.

  • Title: Caraval
  • Author: Stephanie Garber
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 407
  • Author Site: Here
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Caraval focuses on the character Scarlet who lives with sister on an island. Scarlet and her sister Tella must grow up living with her very abusive father who just sees them as property. Scarlet dreams of one day going to the magical world of Caraval which is a fantastic show where people go and play a game in order to win a major price. So, Scarlet wants its so badly so she spends most of her life writing letters to the mysterious Legend who owns the Caraval.

Years later when Scarlet is seventeen her father wants to marry the mysterious Count who she hasn’t met. At the same time, Scarlet finally receives a letter from Legend. So, despite her father…Scarlet, Tella and with the help of a sailor named Julian to run off to the world of Caraval.

There at Caraval, Scarlet’s sister goes missing and in order to get her sister back, Scarlet must play the game that this world holds. Thinking it would be a simple task turns out to be more than just a game of risk, secrets, and consequences. Will Scarlet get her sister back?

REVIEW:

This book was really enjoyable to read. I really enjoyed the concept of Caraval and the combination of magic and puzzles. I also enjoyed seeing the world come alive. If you like books with magic, and whimsical elements than this is a book to check out. In fact, most of the book describes Caraval as magical, and colorful. It’s actually somewhat dreamlike.

I also enjoyed some of the mysterious elements throughout the book with all the clues. The clues that lead you closer to winning the major the prize. I also like the idea of being careful with your choices or you may face the consequences.That said, I would’ve liked to have seen more Carnival elements within the book. The fact that the book made it seem like some big show, the book lacked any Carnival elements. I would’ve liked to see more characters that would feel like you are at a Carnival. Maybe jugglers, clowns, or acrobat? I also have seen much of the actual competition. It felt like this game was more a passive MMORPG game that people just show up and have fun.

As for the characters, I am left with mixed feelings. On the one handle, I like seeing the main character go through a transformation in the book. At the beginning of the book, we meet a scary, shy, and broken Scarlet and see how she learns to find her strength in the book. I also like how she would do anything for the sister and would make the hard choices to get her back.

But even though I do like Scarlet, as a character she does have some flaws in the book. At times Scarlet can be naive and can be overly trusting at times in situations where she should have asked questions. I also didn’t really like the love interest in the book. I feel like Julian could’ve used more of a backstory and be developed more. I feel like Julian was half developed and just gave us more questions about who he was.

Overall, I did really enjoyed this story and loved all the magical element and the dark mystery throughout the book. Despite that, I hope some of the supporting characters and some of the questions that were present in the story could be answered in the next book. Well, if you interested in checking out the book I do have the link below. And until my next post keep on reading.

Link:

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman Book Review

When I first heard of The Magicians it was on TV. I saw the trailers and it was like “what is that?”. So, when I knew that it was based on a book and heard so much I knew that this must book a great book. Really was it? Well, after attending the Fall for Books Festival and seeing Lev Grossman(author) speak it convinced me that this was a must-read.

  • Title: The Magicians
  • Author: Lev Grossman
  • Year Published: 2009
  • Page Count: 402
  • Author Site: Here
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

The book is about a boy named Quentin who dreams of adventure and spends most of his time wishing to be in the same world that his favorite series takes place in…Fillory. Sadly, he is in Brooklyn and all he wants to do is leave his life. But how will he find happiness? Well, by taking an exam and getting into a college for Magicians. So, when Quentin gets enrolled at a college called Brakebills he must learn the world of Magic and that magical world takes him on an adventure he been waiting for.

BOOK REVIEW:

I didn’t think I would enjoy the book as much as I did. The book draws its inspiration from Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia like the part of a magical school and the magical doorways that take you into another world. Other than that the book is its own story. I like how the book despite it being about magic it makes you feel like what a really magical college would be like if you went to one. I also like how the book question is what magic is, and the laws behind it.

For the characters, I like complex and unique the characters were and how the story is driving by it. I like Quentin is relatable it can be defined as the depressed kid that struggles with finding his place in the world. But somehow he is learning about who he is and must decide how he must live it. Alongside Quentin, the other characters get their chance to shine and stand. I like how even though there was a lot of characters they don’t get totally forgotten or underdeveloped.

As the writing style, I get a sense of a C.S. Lewis and Tolkien influence and I like how the author can describe the world and make it feel real without getting to carried away with the long history of the world. I think he is probably saving it for the other two books.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and how real the world in the book feels. I like who each detail was thought out. So, if you are interested in checking out the book I do have links below the post and top. And until next time keep on reading.

Link:

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The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken Book Review

When I stumbled upon this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought about passing the chance of this book and thought it wasn’t something I would like. But when I saw some reviews and also got to learn more about what the book was about it felt me with enough curiosity to pick this up. This is something with a mixture of demons, fantasy but also gave me a feeling whimsical elements.

  • Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
  • Author: Alexandra Bracken
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 362
  • Author Site: Here
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Video Review

SYNOPSIS:

The book centers around a boy named Prosper Redding. Prosper comes from a wealthy and well-known family that live in the small town of Redwood. In the book, Prosper learns about a curse placed on his family due to his great-ancestor who broke a contract with a demon. Because of this instinct, Prosper is left to pay for his ancestor’s mistakes and must live with a demon inside him. And things get worse Prosper must find a way to get rid of this demon before he turns 13 or else the demon will destroy his family. Can Prosper save his life and his family?

REVIEW:

The book was like a really spooky book. Filled with cobwebs, demons, and witchcraft. I liked the concept of the book and how it was put together. I thought at first that this book was going to be a book about exorcism or a demon hunter book but this was totally different. The book itself paints a dark story but adds its light humor to the mix. I also like the fact that book made me think of Tim Burton and Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.

As for characters I really liked getting to know. Prosper is not the most popular person in his town and his family.  Felt super sad about how his life was and the story made me want to be his friend because he was way better than what his family thought of him. As for my favorite character in the book is Alastor the demon. He was both serious, sarcastic and even has a touch of humor.

Overall I really like most of the Halloween spooky moments in the book and like how the both Alastor and Prosper interacted with each other throughout the story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second book. So, if  you are interested in checking it out I have links below and until next time keep on reading.

Links:

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The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

If you are someone looking for something that has a combination of time travel, magic, and characters that team up to take on a heist than continue listening. I recently finished reading The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. Lisa Maxwell is well-known books like Unhooked and Sweet Unrest.

  • Title: The Last Magician
  • Author: Lisa Maxwell
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 512
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Last Magician takes place in modern New York and where magic is slowly coming to extinction at the same time the city is surrounded by an invisible force field called the Brink.The Brink keeps anyone with magician inside and keeps it from leaving. And if someone with magic gets near this leads to a painful consequence. And this Brink was created by a dark secret society called The Order who hates anything with magic and wants to use the Brink to destroy magic forever.

While this is going on, we focus the story on Esta who is a talented thief. Esta has the power to time travel and to slow down time which helps her with taken dangerous jobs. So, int he stories she ends up taking a job that takes her to the year of 1908 where she must still an ancient text that could help destroy the Brink and take down the Order forever. Things go well until she gets stuck in the past and she must team up with a gang lead by Dolph Saunders(our other main character) and steal the text. At the same, Esta must keep it away from the mysterious man known as The Last Magician from getting it. Can’t Esta handle this one job? Well, check out the book to find out.

Book Review:

I had so much fun reading this book. Ever since I saw the cover months ago I knew that this would be a book that I would totally enjoy. And the cover didn’t fail me. The book was fast pace, held my interest and was just a burst of surprises. I loved the combination of magic, time travel, and groups of characters that go on a heist. If you like movies like Now You See Movie, The Prestige or The Illusionist along with books like Six of Crows than this is a book to check out. This book has magical illusions like the movies but the darkness of Six of Crows. Along with the fact that the book takes places in a grime city.

The book also had awesome characters two. I especially enjoyed the leading female protagonist who was both talented and funny at the same time. I also liked the fact that even if she has special abilities that she isn’t super dependent on them. Esta is pure smart and actually is good with just her smarts, and talents. Alongside that, she also adds comic relief throughout the book.

Lastly, the book also gives your a magical world alongside time travel which both has its own rules and limitations. I like that the author did that and added the element of alchemy and made this world feel realistic if it was in 1908.

Overall I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see another installment. I really enjoyed the magic and the heist. As well as the characters that kept my interest going. And if you are totally interested in checking it out yourself the links will be below. Until next time keep on reading.

Links:

Buy Book:On Amazon

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare Book Review

I am back with another book review. I was happy to finally to get my hands on Lord of Shadows. For those don’t know this already I am a hardcore fan of Cassandra Clare’s books and I love anything Shadowhunter related. After reading Lady Midnight I was sucked into the world of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn and now with the follow-up Lord of Shadows, I grew to love The Dark Artifices even more. If you haven’t read Lady Midnight I do have a book review on that book here for you to check it out.

  • Title: Lord of Shadows
  • Author: Cassandra Clare
  • Series: The Dark Artifices
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 720
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the Lord of Shadows, we pick where we left off from the events of Lady Midnight. First Emma is deeply in love with Julian but because it’s forbidden for Parabatai to be together in that, Emma must pretend to be in a relationship with Mark. But, this is the least of their troubles when everyone finds out about the Black Volume of the Dead. In the process, Julian makes a dangerous bargain with the sneaky Seelie Queen which may have its out consequences. On top of this, a group of Shadowhunters called the Cohort who hates Downworlders wants to take over the Los Angeles Institute and spread their harsh laws. Lastly, to top the icing on the cake another threat arises when the Unseelie King wants the Black Volume of the Dead and will stop at nothing have himself.

Review:

I thought that most dangerous thing in the Shadowhunter world was Valentine, Sebastian, and just demons. But I was wrong, in fact, I think demons was the easiest thing to deal with for the Shadowhunters. There so much happening in this book, that I wonder how anyone goes to sleep at night knowing you have to watch your backs.

The book is a roller coaster ride of emotions, action, and thrills. Everywhere I turn there is something that keeps my attention and made it hard for me to put it down. I also enjoyed the world building in this book. I actually the fact that in this book we got to learn more about fairies and see more of their world because in the other series she has written we don’t get a lot of fairies scenes as much. Another thing that enjoyed about the book is the fighting combat scenes that add another punch.

I love the characters. I like the interaction between Emma and Julian and how they always have each other’s back no matter what. Even when they are having a fight or what not they are still Parabatai I also like Julian who will do anything to protect his family and to keep everyone together. Another character that caught my attention was Kit who was introduced in Lady Midnight who was also known as The Last Herondale. I like how he starts out as an outcast but then slowly finds his way. I hope in the next book he overcomes he struggles and gets a spin-off.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and had so much fun. And in fact, I wait so long to read it and now I have I know I have great hopes for what’s to come in the next book. Cassandra Clare’s books keep getting better and I hope the world of Shadowhunters don’t end.

Links:

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

I was excited to get my hands on the book right after reading Six of Crows. I just wanted more from the world and wanted to find out how things will be tied. Later did I realize that the book left me wanting more.

  • Title: Crooked Kingdom
  • Author: Leigh Bardugo
  • Series/Trilogy: Six of Crows Duology
  • Year Published: 2016
  • Page Count: 546
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the Crooked Kingdom, we continue where we left off in the last book. Kaz and the rest of the team must find a way to deal with the fact that they were doubled crossed by Jan Van Eck. And top off the problem, Inej was taken prisoner as well. In order to rescue Inej and get the money they were promised, Kaz must come up with a plan to make it happen. To make things worse the word got out about the Parem Jurda and about Kuwei and now every country wants it for themselves. Now in this book Kaz and the characters must fight their enemies, get their money and find a way to survive.

Review:

I had so much fun reading Crooked Kingdom. In fact, the duology stepped up from the last book. I actually liked how the action built up and the fact that all countries were in the same city made it even more intense. I also liked the fact that I got to see more of the city of Ketterdam and how dark and grim it is. It made me think of the show Gotham or even Starlight city from Arrow combined. I also liked how Leigh also had more Grisha elements in the book as well. I have a feeling that I should read the Grisha Trilogy after this.

Starting off Kaz who I pretty much think is the most interesting character has developed so much in the book. I also like despite being a cruel, and smart person he has many sides of him. I also like seeing a part of him that actually cares for his team. I mean when someone is in trouble or down he will actually give a look. But at the same, I also like how Leigh didn’t make a 180 change for Kaz. It was more realistic and gradual which help keep the character we know.

For Inej, I think she is one of the strongest characters. I like how regardless of her past and the situations she knows how to take care of herself. She is tough and very smart. I also like the fact she and Kaz share this bond where they work well with each other. I hope another book comes out so I can see if they actually get together.

On to Wylan and Jesper. In the book, you get to know more about the characters and their backstory. I also liked Wylan, especially because in the first book I thought he was a whiny kid who just wanted to rebel. But throughout the book, I got a new respect for him. And Jesper he is just funny.

Lastly, I think the way it ended was perfect and it gave more open possibilities of more books. Like maybe spin-offs for the characters and maybe another series featuring the characters because I think it would totally fun to explore. I also would’ve liked to see how the characters who evolve as well. So if you are interested in checking out the book I have links and until my next post keep on reading.

Links:

Buy on Amazon