Legion by Julie Kagawa

Summary: The legions are about to be unleashed, and no human, rogue dragon or former dragon slayer can stand against the coming horde.

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all–dragons do not suffer human emotions–let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

Review: So this one’s probably going to be a little short because I just want to read the last book.
Like the last book (see my review here), Legion had a lot more forward momentum than the beginning of the series. Tons of action and it really felt like the story’s progressing quickly and in the right direction. One of the things I loved about this book was the protagonists finally starting to convince members of Talon and St. George to question the beliefs each organization has instilled in them. Don’t get me wrong, everyone didn’t suddenly decide to get along but a few have made an attempt to see other points of view and it makes me hopeful for where the series will go from here.
Ember once again had some really great character development. I mentioned in my review of the first book (read it here) that Ember’s human side and her dragon side were kind of at odds and it’s continued that way since. In this book, Ember finally realizes that while they are different aspects of her personality they’re still the same. They’re both Ember and it’s okay that they’re different, she can still be both. Her realizing this also led to a big decision in her love life so the love triangle is officially over!
I won’t tell you who she picked. It wasn’t who I initially wanted her to end up with but I ended up being really happy with the way it turned out anyway.
I’m not going to talk too much about the men in the story since my thoughts on them haven’t really changed since the last book. I keep liking Garret more and more. He’s also had some really great character development and he has flaws but is mostly just a really kind person.
I still love pretty much everything about Riley and Dante still drives me nuts. I think the only difference in my feelings for Dante was that I’ve lost hope for his redemption. I always figured Ember might find a way to make him see Talon for what it really is but at this point I think he’s too far gone to see reason.
Overall I loved this book and I can’t wait to see how the series ends. I’d recommend this series to pretty much anyone, but it’s definitely targeted more towards YA and fantasy. Let me know what you think in the comments and as always, thanks for reading.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Summary: The price of freedom is everything.

When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.

Review:

I. Am. SO. Mad.
But I can’t really talk about it because spoilers. Suffice it to say, the ending was extremely suspenseful, then suddenly everything seems fine and it’s going to end relatively happy, then at the very last second it’s NOT OKAY and I’m texting Amanda freaking out.
Overall, this has been my favorite book of the series so far. There were conflicts in the first two books (see my reviews here and here) but they’ve been smaller; you can tell it’s slowly leading up to one big conflict and it finally reached that point in this book. We also get to see the story from four different points of view which was partly nice and partly annoying. Nice because we got to see different sides of the conflict but annoying because it would switch after mini-cliffhangers so I would just be sitting there trying to focus but going, “But what’s happening to that other character right now!?”
Speaking of characters, I’ll start with Ember. She’s grown so much since the first book in good ways and bad. For most of the book, Ember is suffering from ptsd after the events from the second book and I was really happy about it. I don’t mean to sound like I’m glad she’s suffering but I get a little sick of books that involve war and violence where the characters just go along without any emotional trauma. It’s war. Of course she’s going to be affected by the things she’s seen and done. During the second book, everything’s happening so fast that she doesn’t really have time to process anything and now it’s hitting her all at once. She’s seen humans and dragons murdered in front of her, she’s killed people, seen the skin of a dragon no older than her hanging on a wall. And don’t take it less seriously because it’s a dragon. Just picture for a second, a child’s skin hanging on someone’s wall like a trophy; because that’s what it means to Ember. I just can’t adequately explain how much I appreciated a book like this showing that sort of emotional trauma and doing it really well.
Ember’s brother, Dante, drives me freaking nuts. He’s completely loyal to Talon to the point where he’s betrayed Ember more than once. It was really good to see his side of things throughout this book. My problem is that everytime Talon tells him to do something that seems wrong to him he justifies it saying, “Well, Talon knows what it’s doing. This is for the good of the organization.” YOU’RE KILLING PEOPLE. YOU KNOW THIS IS WRONG. Everytime he does it it just makes me hate him a little bit more.
I’m going to group Garret and Riley together because my thoughts on them are pretty much the same. The love triangle is back! I’m mildly annoyed about it but I like both characters enough that I’m tolerating it. They’re both amazing in such different ways that I continue to enjoy getting to know them better. Especially Garret since we got to see flashbacks from throughout his life during this book and it helped me understand his character a lot better.
I loved this book and absolutely can’t wait to see what happens in Legion. I’d absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes YA or fantasy (or anyone else because it’s really good and you should just get out of your comfort zone). Amanda hasn’t read it yet so please tell me your thoughts in the comments. I need someone to freak out over it with. Thanks so much for reading.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Summary: From the limitless imagination of bestselling author Julie Kagawa comes the next fantastic adventure in the Talon Saga.

Deserter. Traitor. Rogue.

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Review: First things first: this review will be a little shorter than usual because most of my thoughts on this book are similar to my thoughts on the first book. (You can read my review of Talon here.) Once again Julie Kagawa wrote a fun, suspenseful, fast-paced book that kept me hooked all the way through. This book had a lot more action than the first, which I enjoyed immensely. I find reading action scenes can sometimes be a little tedious since it can be hard to visualize certain things but Kagawa does it in a way that I can picture really well; which is particularly impressive when you consider many of the fight scenes involve literal dragons.
Book 1 ended with Ember and Garret realizing their respective organizations are corrupt and turning their backs on them. In this book, you get to see them dealing with the various consequences of that choice and coming to terms with the serious life change it created. Mainly it means they’re both going to be on the run for the rest of their lives.
Ember especially didn’t think this part through as much when she decided to go rogue but she handled the pressure relatively well. I enjoyed seeing her grow a bit more throughout this book. She still had a few impulsive, immature moments but she’s headed in the right direction and I can’t wait to see how she develops through the rest of the series.
I also liked getting to see from the perspective of someone inside Talon. Personally I love when I know more than the characters do and this way I got to see things from both sides of the conflict.
Overall this was a really great book with a fast-pace and an interesting storyline. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA or fantasy. As always, thanks for visiting for blog and please tell me your own thoughts and opinions in the comments.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Summary: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey—and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Review: I loved this book when it first came out in 2014 but for some reason I never caught up after the second book. Now that the fifth and final book just came out I’ll be reading and reviewing the entire series.
I’ll start with the basics. I LOVE dragons. Always have, always will. It’s an autobuy topic for me so I’ve read a lot of books about dragons. You’d think I’d get sick of them but somehow authors keep managing to surprise me. In this series, centuries ago when dragons were hunted near to extinction, they learned to become human and now hide among us, still hunted by the Order of St. George, an organization descended from dragon slayers.
Dragons but it still takes place in our world? YES PLEASE. Since dragons can shift between their dragon and human forms, they’re able to blend into human society. Over time this allowed them to gain positions of power to build Talon into an organization that could actually threaten humanity. At first we only see how it directly affects Ember and Dante. It seems overbearing and rigid in it’s control over dragonkind but you can sort of understand their reasons; they remember a time when dragons were ruthlessly hunted and killed and they want to protect their species. Throughout the book though, you learn more and more about what Talon doesn’t tell it’s members. Terrible secrets that make Ember question everything she’s been taught her entire life.
The Order of St. George is basically the same. Two groups that have been enemies for centuries and are on completely opposite sides of this conflict, but they operate in the same ways. They control their members to an insane degree and have no tolerance for anyone being even slightly less than perfect. If their own members go against them, they kill them without question. I enjoyed seeing the parallels between the two groups.
Ember is a 16-year-old hatchling, sent to California with her brother for the next step in their education; observe, assimilate, blend in. They’ve been holed up in the desert with Talon their whole lives and now it’s time for them to learn to act like humans. This part was actually pretty funny because they’ve been taught about humans but you can only teach so much so some of their interactions with their new friends are very awkward. Ember takes to human life really quickly. She loves hanging out with her friends, surfing, and just being a teenager. She knows she’s not supposed to. She’s been taught that dragons aren’t supposed to feel emotions the way humans do. Humans are the inferior species and they don’t matter. But Ember does feel these emotions, she cares about her human friends and even falls in love. I really liked watching Ember as she learned about the organization that raised her as she slowly comes to realize that there is nothing wrong with her, she’s just been lied to.
Garret also had some great character development and I loved that it mostly paralleled Ember’s. They both learn that the “right side” of the war isn’t what they thought it was and that there’s more to their enemy than they were told. This was even harder for Garret to go through because he’s always believed that dragons were evil creatures. Devoid of emotion or anything resembling humanity. Until he meets Ember, he’s killed dragons mercilessly, and it was difficult to watch his entire worldview crumble.
Riley is the third POV we see in this book. He’s a rogue dragon on the run from both Talon and St. George who tries to show Ember the truth about Talon so she’ll run from the organization with him. Riley is my favorite. He tries to show this carefree, bad boy demeanor but as the story progresses you see the side of him that risks his life for others and cares deeply about Ember.
Which brings me to the always unnecessary YA love triangle. I won’t rant again about how much I hate them but I will say one thing about this triangle in particular. The only reason I didn’t throw the book across the room in frustration was Ember’s side of it. There’s two separate parts of her, dragon and human; the dragon is more animalistic and is at odds with the human emotions she begins to feel. It’s not so much one girl loving two guys as a human girl loving a human boy and a dragon loving a dragon. You can see very clearly how these different parts of her are pulling her in two different directions. The reasoning behind it made me tolerate this love triangle more than I usually do.
Overall I loved this book. It’s fast paced, funny and suspenseful. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA or fantasy. As always, thanks for visiting our blog and please share your thoughts in the comments.

-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Dragon’s Gift: The Valkyrie by Linsey Hall

Summary: From Book 1: I’ve got two choices. Join the Undercover Protectorate. Or die.

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In a world of controlled magic, I’m an Unknown. Deadly power, little control. I’m only alive because I pay a Blood Sorcerer to keep me hidden. But when he comes to collect on the debt I can’t pay, one of his goons slams me with a deadly curse. Suddenly, I’m out of options and out of time.

When I’m given a rare chance to join the elite Undercover Protectorate and train at their academy to become an investigator, I have a way to hunt the cure for the curse. They have resources I don’t. Easy, since I’m broke.

Seems like a good plan, right? At least, until they tell me Cade will be joining me on my hunt for the Blood Sorcerer. He’s an actual Celtic war god–and the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. The catch? I can’t let him know that I’m an Unknown, or I’m out on my ass and deader than Hades.

Undercover Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will knock your socks off.

Review:
Amanda got me into Linsey Hall’s books on Kindle and I’m so glad she did. This is the fourth Dragon’s Gift series, each consisting of five books. It sounds like a lot but they’re very quick reads; I could read one in a day. Each series follows a different women as she tries to master her magic and defeat the evil she’s tasked with getting rid of.
Let’s start with the basics. I really enjoyed these books. They’re quick, funny, suspenseful and have some kickass heroines. I also really liked the world Hall created. It’s mostly based on our world but with a magical twist. Magical creatures of all kinds exist in secret; hiding among us or in hidden magical cities. This allowed Hall to do all sorts of fun stuff with history and myth. (Fun fact: Since Hall was an archeologist before she started writing, her books have a lot of historical accuracy and she includes a section at the end of the books where she explains the different connections to history and what she may have changed for creative reasons.)
Let’s start with Bree. I LOVED her and her sister Ana when they appeared in a previous series. They’ve basically been hiding on the outskirts of society their entire lives and because of this they’re a little awkward, a little crazy and completely badass. Ever since their older sister Rowan disappeared five years ago, they’ve been trying to keep it together while spending all their resources to find her. Unfortunately the series starts with them being deeply in debt to a bad guy because of it. Cue the Undercover Protectorate; a secret, magical organization that fights for the little guy and protects the world from magical threats. They find the girls to recruit them and end up helping them with all the problems that keep popping up in their lives, including finding Rowan.
Bree is awesome. She’s a fighter through and through, proven by the fact her fear response is to dive head first into everything. She works on this impulse control throughout the series which actually proves to be a VERY good thing during an especially surprising plot twist. She also starts to get past her (understandable) trust issues until she’s able to make a home with people she cares about. Bree had some really amazing character development.
Now I’ll talk about Cade, Bree’s love interest. Very swoonworthy. He’s an earth walking god; basically a mortal who inherits godly powers. At first I was a little annoyed. One thing I noticed throughout all the series was that we got these really powerful women who suddenly meet the one man who’s more powerful than them… I’m sorry, why can’t the women be more powerful and not have it be an issue? The one saving grace was that most of them either gain powers or come into their own more strongly until they’re at least level with the male MC. Once that started to happen, I liked Cade a lot more. He has his own trust issues and together he and Bree help each other to start working through them. He’s a tough guy and wants to protect Bree but understands that she’s her own person and has to fight her own battles. While he certainly saves her a few times, he never tries to stop her from going into danger which I thought was a refreshing change from what you frequently see in male MC’s.
Overall I loved this series. I really enjoyed all the mythology throughout it. Mostly Norse since that’s where Bree gets her powers but you get bits from several other pantheons as well. I’d recommend this series to anyone who likes mythology, urban fantasy, or the paranormal. I suggest starting with the first Dragon’s Gift series. You don’t have to read them in order but there’s enough crossover that some of it will definitely make more sense if you do.
As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
-Antonia

The Iron Fey Series – Julie Kagawa

Hello fellow readers!
I just finished The Iron Fey series. There are four books in this series. I couldn’t seem to stop myself from picking up the next book as soon as I finished one. So I’m going to review all four books together in this post.

Summary:
The Faery realms have always weathered the clash of Summer and Winter fey, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Now a new breed of faery has emerged to challenge both… to their peril. Forged by Man’s insatiable pursuit of technological superiority, the terrifying Iron fey are massing…and the fate of all faeries hangs in the balance. The greatest weapon in this epic magical war? A half-human teenage girl.

Review:
The first thing I noticed about this book was the descriptions. Julie Kagawa absolutely has a way with words. The imagery that was in this book was amazing. I loved being able to picture all of the places these characters visited. These were very fast paced books, with lots of action. The main character, Meghan Chase, was one that I really admired. She’s passionate, strong and determined. The series starts off with Meghan trying to rescue her younger brother who’s been kidnapped by the fey. Meghan would do anything for the people she cares about. As the books go on she does anything and everything in her power to protect the important people in her life. She seems to do a really good job of getting herself into dangerous and crazy situations. She does an even better job of getting herself and her loved ones safely out of these situations. All while saving the day in the process. Meghan is a wonderfully strong female lead and I loved reading her story.
Meghan’s best friend Robbie, who is actually Robin Goodfellow also known as Puck, was a great addition to these books. He added hilarity as well as chaos. I loved Puck, but I also hated him. He is hopelessly in love with Meghan and she doesn’t see it until she’s fallen in love with someone else. I felt really sorry for Puck in this aspect. Pinning after a girl that would never love him. Although Puck was funny and someone I really enjoyed reading about, he had a tendency to piss me off. There were a lot of things he kept secret from Meghan that when we found out about them, I just wanted to punch him in the face. One thing I will say about Puck is that he tries to be a good friend. He’s always there for his friends even when they don’t want him there. He’s stubborn and sometimes annoying, but he always means well. I liked Puck, but not as much as other characters.
Ash, the Winter Prince of the Unseelie Court, was such an infuriating character. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ash so much and if he was real I would find him and make him love me. But he was a real pain in the ass sometimes. He tried his best to be the cold, emotionless winter prince that everyone saw him as. I just wanted him to be himself. He spent so much time in the first two books trying to ignore his feelings for Meghan. He was always too ready to give her up. This really frustrated me. He’s so unwilling to try to find a way for them to be together, I just wanted to smack him. I have to admit, Ash stepped up later in the books. Ash was one of my favorite characters. As we get to know him better he shows us that he is another character who will do anything to take care of his loved ones in any way he knows how. This is something he proves countless times. Toward the end of the third book, Ash really shows Meghan how much he’s willing to give up for her. Even though The Iron Queen doesn’t end in the happiest way for the couple, the fourth book makes up for it. The Iron Knight is told from Ash’s perspective unlike the first three told from Meghan’s. I think the fourth book was my favorite because of this. I loved getting to know Ash much better in the last book. His thoughts and his feelings are something we actually get to see and I really enjoyed that. He literally goes to the end of the world to try to find a way to be with Meghan, talk about a grand gesture. Ash really shows his stubbornness and determination as well as many other things. I just loved Ash so much.
The last thing I’m going to mention that I loved about this story was the story itself. Kagawa really outdid herself with this series. Yes, there are quite a number of books out there about faeries, but the unique twists in these books had me captivated. There were so many surprises in this series that I had a really hard time putting the books down. The Iron Fey series was beautifully written with its own special twists. This is definitely a series that can be interesting for a wide range of readers. You like action? Kagawa gives you action. Romance, humor, suspense? She’s put all that into these four books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Red is for Remembrance – Laurie Faria Stolarz

Summary:
Nothing has been the same for eighteen year old Stacey since her boyfriend Jacob died. For months she stayed at the beach cottage they shared before Jacob’s tragic accident, refusing to give up hope that somehow, somewhere, Jacob was still alive.
But Stacey knows she can’t put off rejoining the world forever. Lucky to have a full scholarship to prestigious Beacon University, Stacey hopes she can finally put her past behind her.
Devastated when she starts having more disturbing dreams, Stacey once again turns to the folk magic she learned from her grandmother to find out what they mean. Her hopes that she can solve this mystery on her own are dashed when the college president calls her in for a private meeting-and reveals that his daughter Porsha is having nightmares too.
But while Stacey dreams of a ghost, Porsha is dreaming of a murder she’s convinced hasn’t happened yet. Porsha’s fragmented nightmares foretell a tragic death, and may also shed light on a shocking revelation that could change Stacey’s life forever. Together the two must decode their dark dreams to save a life-a risk that may cost them their own.

Review:
Okay, so I may have said at the end of the second book, that the series could have just ended there. This is still true, but I’m so very glad Stolarz went on to write this book. Red is for Remembrance was without a doubt my favorite book in this series. This book is going to be a bit harder than usual to review without giving away too many spoilers, but I’m going to do my best.
So, Red is for Remembrance is told with two different points of view. This kind of annoyed me a little because there wasn’t too much information on the second point of view. One is obviously Staceys, and the other is this mysterious person, Shell. He lives at a commune type place on Cape Cod. As soon as the Cape was mentioned I thought it was Jacob. The camp is a very strange place. I didn’t like it at all. This place was not a good environment at all and Shell figured this out. Shell was an interesting character. He has no memory of his life before coming to the camp and is expected to blindly follow what the campers in charge tell him. Big surprise, he doesn’t. While keeping up the pretense that he’s still completely loyal he starts remembering his life and starts doubting the intentions of the camp. Along side him his closest friend, Brick, helps him remember who he really is and the two try to plan an escape from the camp. Brick was kind of a secondary character, but I really liked him. He had a great personality. He was funny and always tried to make the best of things. Shell was also a great character. He had a hard time adjusting to the rules of the camp. He was very firm with what he believed and always tried to do the right thing without hurting anyone. Shell was a very sincere character, even though he was very confused about who he was. I liked the characters, but wasn’t so much a fan of the two points of view.
Now, Stacey’s part of the story. The book starts off with Stacey and Amber just settling into college. I really liked Amber in Red is for Remembrance. She’s a fair bit more mature. This might also just be me realizing that she’s just a weird character. But she really steps up for Stacey in this book. She really is a great friend, even if sometimes she’s wrong in her assumptions, it’s the thought and effort that count. Within the first couple of pages, there’s a brief description given of all that Stacey has had to go through in the past couple of years. I really enjoyed that. I feel like it reminded me of all the shit Stacey’s had to deal with, and how strong she is to have gotten through it all. Stacey is one of the strongest main characters I’ve read about in a while. In the beginning of this year she is too consumed with her loss and just wants to sleep all the time. Which I can seriously understand. But with some help from Amber and friends, Stacey starts being who she is again. She helps a young girl who experiences nightmares like Stacey. She’s always doing the right thing, even if it’s something really hard for her. She never strays from the path she knows she should take. And she believes in herself so fully. She is an amazing main character. Then there’s Porsha, the girl who is having nightmares. I wasn’t sure of her at first, but I ended up really liking her. She reminds me of Stacey a bit, just a little less confident. Once Stacey shows Porsha she’s not crazy she does everything she can to help this person that she’s dreaming about. Like Stacey she’s passionate about helping and wants to do the right thing. I loved all the characters in this story.
I said it already, but this was absolutely my favorite of the series. There were times that the description was so good I couldn’t help but cry right along with Stacey. I felt like I was mourning him as well. Red is for Remembrance was written very well. I still think this series is aimed for a younger reading age. There’s no swearing or really anything inappropriate in this book. Everything is put into a silly way, or described in code to be acceptable for the younger readers. I actually really ended up enjoying this series and following Stacey and gang through their adventures. So, anyone that thinks they might like them too should totally give them a try.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

White is for Magic – Laurie Faria Stolarz

Summary:
One year later. It’s happening again. Seventeen year old Stacey Brown is having nightmares-creepy dreams haunted by the ghosts of people who have been brutally murdered.
It’s her senior year at boarding school, and what Stacey really should be focusing on are her classes and getting into college-not to mention the rocky path her love life has been taking lately.
But even if she could ignore the dreams, Stacey can’t ignore the strange letters that she’s been receiving. No return address, no signature-and the same cryptic messages she’s been hearing in her nightmares.
What’s worse is that she’s not the only one having weird dreams. Jacob, a transfer student, claims that he’s been having nightly premonitions of Stacey’s death for months, dreams so realistic that he transferred schools to find her and stop the killer. It doesn’t help that she’s starting to have feeling for him even though she already has a boyfriend. But can she trust Jacob? Or will both their darkest dreams come true?

Review:
Okay, so I absolutely liked White is for Magic better than the first in the series. There was a bit I didn’t like about this book, but I enjoyed it more than the previous. It starts off at the beginning of the next school year, which worked well for how this story line goes. The book was descriptive and written well enough. But this series is still totally directed to younger young adult readers.
So basically, Stacey’s life is repeating itself. She’s having nightmares again, except this time she’s dreaming of her own death. Can we just take a minute to talk about this? Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, every night, after dreaming all about your own death. That would be something very difficult for me to handle. When I first started reading this book I thought to myself, Stacey really should trust her friends more. She should try to let them help and support her. After I finished, I no longer stand by that statement. Stacey tries to put more trust in her friends and doesn’t get the support she deserves. Regardless of what she’s lacking, Stacey handles herself and everything she’s dealing with surprisingly well throughout White is for Magic. She figures out, with minimal help from around her, exactly what is about to happen to her. She even puts herself exactly where she knows she shouldn’t be to help Drea. One of the biggest supports Stacey had was her mother, but not until later in the book. Stacey and her mother have never really had a close relationship because her mom wouldn’t acknowledge her nightmares. Stacey kind of resented her mom for not supporting her in this aspect of her life. The pair really bond and reconnect in this book when her mom steps up to the plate and tries to do everything she can for Stacey. I kind of adored her mom after they reconnected. There’s one thing i would like to mention about Stacey. No matter what she’s dealing with at the time, she does still try really hard to give her school work the attention it needs. The second book in this series definitely made me like Stacey a bit more.
Her friends, however, I think I like them less in this story. Amber isn’t that bad in White is for Magic. My feelings are almost the same. She’s a ditzy, unfocused, high school girl who doesn’t know what she wants. She gives Stacey the most support out of all of the others, so I do give her credit for this. Then there’s Drea, who I think has become my least favorite character. Through the entire book it’s obvious that she’s being shady about something. And shady pisses me off. I still think she’s a spoiled brat. She only thinks of herself. In the first book Drea is put in danger, and Stacey is the one to figure everything out and save her. Too many times for me to be able to overlook it, Drea uses what she went through last year to avoid helping her very afraid best friend. I would have understood it at first, and Drea does help more toward the end of the book. I just wasn’t a huge fan of Drea. The last friend is Chad, who in this book is Stacey’s boyfriend. He’s not a very good one if you ask me and since this is my review, you are asking me. Chad never took anything that had to with Stacey’s nightmares seriously. He always tried to explain them away with some other excuse. Honestly, I think he just didn’t want to deal with them. Chad and Stacey fought through pretty much the entire book. It was very obvious they weren’t meant to be together.
Which brings me to my favorite character in this book, Jacob. He wasn’t introduced until about half way through the book, which is when I really got sucked in. My first impression of Jacob was a few different things. Stacey finds him in the woods doing a spell. My immediate thought was that Jacob and Stacey have to love each other forever. My second thought was, but what if he’s the bad guy? I was very torn about my feelings toward Jacob for most of the book. I always WANTED to like him, but I was still suspicious, mirroring Stacey’s feelings. I’m very excited to read more about Jacob in the next book of this series.
So I guess it was really just some of the characters I didn’t like about this book. I mean, the story line was written well enough, but I didn’t freak out as much as I usually do. White is for Magic kept me interested, constantly wondering what was going on or going to happen next. I honestly think Stolarz could have kept this a two book series, and am actually very glad she didn’t because I can’t wait to start the next book as soon as I’m done with this review. Which I guess is now. So, young adult book lovers, paranormal, action, mystery readers would all totally love this series so far.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Origin – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summary:
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?
And will they even be together?
Review:
How should I start this review? Oh, right, how about with HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT…I work at a tourist store, so now that summers over I do a lot of sitting around. The perfect opportunity for some reading. Origin came out recently and Antonia and I HAD to have it. She was nice enough to let me read it first. So, I started it when I got to work at 9:30am, it’s now 1:30pm and I might have a mental breakdown at work. Four hours to read 364 pages, while helping the occasional customer, eating my lunch and texting Antonia freaking out without giving her any details. EVERYONE needs to read this series just so you can read Origin. It was without a doubt the best book in the series, which is subject to change after the fifth book comes out.
Okay, now onto the actual reviewing of the book rather than just fangirling. This series holds a certain sentimental value to me because it is partially where the idea for this review blog came from. The main character, Katy, runs a video book review blog. The storyline that Jennifer L. Armentrout came up with is amazing. I thought it was going to be another paranormal romance series, and boy was I wrong. Armentrout puts her own twist on every aspect of this story. She makes it unique and spectacular. Origin was suspenseful, VERY suspenseful. And if any of you have actually read my reviews you’d know I’m terrible at guessing what comes next. That was no different with Origin. I was shocked with all the twists, turns and surprises Armentrout threw in. I loved every single thing about this book. It made me laugh, made me smile, gave me butterflies; it also made me cry and infuriated me. Origin made me feel any and every emotion in the period of four-ish hours. I literally sat at work going between laughing and crying. That’s how you know it’s seriously good. So read it, because I said so.
The fictional characters that have stolen my heart are next. This series is pretty much 100% about Katy and Daemon, but I’ll start with Katy. I kind of seriously adore her. She takes absolutely no bullshit from anyone, especially Daemon. She’s stubborn and very independent, although Daemon tries his best to shelter her from everything and anything. Kat would do anything for the people she cares about, even some people she’s not fond of but knows Daemon cares about them. She’s fiercely protective of whats hers. Katy’s brave and loyal and gives her all with everything she does. She’s an amazing female lead.
Daemon is the typical asshole with the typical excuse that it’s for her own good. I didn’t like Daemon at the beginning of the series, but he seriously proves himself in Origin, as well as the second and third books. He really loves Katy so much. At the beginning of Origin Daemon says, “I’ll burn the world down to save her.” If I ever find someone that loves me half as much as Daemon loves Katy, I will be the luckiest girl in the world. Daemon shows that his love for Katy is more important than literally anything else. He makes some pretty irrational decisions to save and protect her. In the end, he would do everything exactly the same. Daemon is very protective of his loved one, the people he considers his family, but his loyalty is only to Katy. He makes quite a few really difficult decisions and has to deal with a lot of seriously not okay shit. Katy makes everything better for him. He is strong, but stronger with her. If Daemon existed in real life, I would find him, kidnap him and marry him. But only is Katy didn’t exist as well, because she wouldn’t have any of that.
There are so many other characters I want to mention but they would give too much away. I can mention Archer though. He’s with Katy pretty much every minute while she’s being held captive. I kind of seriously adore him and my adoration just kept growing the more I read about him. He’s technically the enemy, but it’s obvious that he struggles with the beliefs of “his side”. Archer looks out for Katy while she’s captive. He seemed like a good guy in shitty circumstances. If I had him looking out for me, I’d be set for life. I seriously hope to see him in the next book.
Overall, you guys can probably tell I liked this book very much. If I rated the books I review with stars, Origin by Jennifer L Armentrout would get all five stars. It has an amazing plot. A strong female lead (to an extent), romance, a deadly gorgeous male main character, suspense, danger, and action. I would love to be able to tell you, readers, that it has a happy ending, but HOLY FUCKING CLIFFHANGERS. Armentrout has done this to me four times now. Ridiculous cliffhangers, then she makes me wait FOREVER to get the next book and find out what happens. Every reader’s worst nightmare. The Lux series is an amazing series that I suggest to anyone and everyone. But really, go to the bookstore and buy them. Right now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Summary:
The truth is, when you banish the gods from the world, they eventually come back-with a vengeance.
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March is a former investigator of religious groups who was sent into exile after a failed job, a fate that has left the brilliant servitor bitter and free to indulge his addictive personality. Suddenly, Justin is sent home to the Republic of United North America (RUNA) with a peculiar assignment-to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena.
Justin’s unexpected return comes with an even bigger shock: His new partner and bodyguard, Mae, is a praetorian, one of the elite and deadly supersoldiers of the RUNA. Her inexplicably perfect beauty and aristocratic upbringing pique Justin’s avid curiosity-and his desire-though her true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes.
As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the path of terrible danger. Mysterious enemies and powers greater than they can imagine have begun to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world where humans are merely gamepieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, delivers all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy series a breakout success: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and breathless action and suspense.
Review:
Richelle Mead became an auto-buy author for me the minute I fell in love with Dimitri from Vampire Academy. When I heard she was coming out with the Age of X series I was intrigued. I looked into it and became unsure. They didn’t really seem like my kind of books. After reading Gameboard of the Gods, I completely a thousand percent take it back. This series may end up becoming one of my favorites.
Gameboard of the Gods was a fantastic book, for many reasons. It had an amazing storyline, one I’d never read before. It was a seriously unique book. It was a mix of mythological, futuristic, romantic, adventurous. Gameboard of the Gods had a little bit of everything. Which is, I think, why I liked it so much. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this book. Partially because it’s a long book, and partially because I just moved and that took up a chunk of my reading time. When I wasn’t reading, all I wanted to do was finish this book. There were a couple slow parts that were interesting but dragged at points. The suspense was probably the worst for me, it almost killed me. I just wanted to know where the story was headed. It didn’t really have a huge cliffhanger, but it definitely ended leaving me wanting more. I don’t think the title for the second book in the series has even been released, let alone a date that it will be coming out. Which is infuriating because I just want to know what’s going to happen next. Isn’t that every reader’s worst nightmare?
Now, onto the characters, which is always my favorite part. Gameboard of the Gods mainly follows Justin March and his life, but it also jumps around a few other important characters. Justin March was a very interesting main character. He has so many secrets that all eventually come to light. I think Justin tries to have his head on straight and his heart in the right place, but he’s only human. In the beginning, we see him indulging in everything that’s bad for him. Gambling, drinking, doing anything and everything he can to deal with being in exile. We get to see more of who he really is when we meet our next important character. He shows who he really is when he’s around Tessa and her family. Justin has a lot of quirks, one of them being the voices in his head. I’m going to try to explain the best I can without giving anything away. The voices are a pest to him mostly, but end up helping him significantly at times. His voices are probably some of the most fun parts of the book, but they also give us quite a bit of information without giving too much away. As a whole, I liked Justin. He does the best he can to do what he thinks is right and I think that’s very admirable.
Mae, the praetorian, is loyal to her government. She does what she’s supposed to when she’s supposed to do it. When we first meet Mae she’s just lost the love of her life. She tries to keep herself collected and together but snaps at one point. The consequences of her brief breakdown are what leads her to be Justin’s bodyguard. The relationship that forms between the two of them is very complicated and describing it without giving any of the story away is pretty hard. Mae tends to bring out the asshole in Justin because it’s what he thinks is the easiest way to handle the situation. Mae tries her hardest to be emotionless and in control of everything, but usually ends up in over her head. I like Mae for the most part, there definitely are some points in the story where she isn’t my favorite. She is sometimes indecisive and never asks for any help with whats going on with her, which is always something that irks me. If she just asked for help everything would be so much easier on her! Overall, I really liked Mae, she stands up for what she believes in, and she does everything she can for those she cares about, even if she won’t admit she cares about them.
Next is Tessa. Tessa is the daughter of someone who helped Justin when he needed it. So when he is asked to come back to the RUNA one of his conditions is that he is allowed to bring Tessa so she can have a better life. Tessa doesn’t really have any options at home, other than marrying. In the RUNA she can go to school, live in a whole different society with a whole different lifestyle. When Tessa moves to the RUNA she’s kind of awkward at first, which is understandable. I think Tessa handles this life-changing event relatively well. She’s considered an outsider at school and is talked about and treated differently by almost everyone. She makes a couple of friends that really end up helping her adapt to her new life. I liked Tessa, she has all these changes thrown at her and she just keeps moving forward, going with the flow, making the best out of whats given to her.
There are a few other characters that play a part in this story, but the three I mentioned are the most important. I liked most of the other characters, except the obvious antagonists because they’re meant to be portrayed as assholes. I loved Gameboard of the Gods so much. I can’t wait for the second to come out and see where Richelle Mead is going to take these characters. I suggest this book to anyone that loves romance, or action, or futuristic settings, or anything mythological because Gameboard of the Gods has all this and more. Something that should be kept in mind is that this is, in fact, an adult series, not young adult. There are some parts that are a little inappropriate for the younger readers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!