Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
Review:
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa is a book that I received from Net Galley as an ARC to read and review. This book is scheduled for release later this year in the beginning of October. Julie Kagawa has become an auto-buy author for me, so when I heard about this book I was wicked excited for its release. I was even more excited after I read the synopsis. This book was different from her others. When Net Galley approved me I definitely squealed more than I’m willing to admit.
Our story starts with a girl, Yumeko, who is part human and part kitsune. I loved getting to see the world through her eyes as she went on the adventure in this book. She’s been raised by monks in an isolated part of the world that Kagawa has created. She has learned everything she knows about the world from the monks that raised her. So when everything falls apart and she needs to flee the only place that she’s ever known as home and essentially go and save the world. A lot of responsibility for a girl who’s never been out into the real world, so it was funny and interesting to see the world through her fresh eyes, to learn things as she embarks on her journey. She sees the best in everyone and looks on the bright side of everything.
This brings us to our second perspective, Tatsumi. He’s the complete opposite of Yumeko. He thinks the worst of everyone. He’s been all over the world doing his samurai duty. He’s seen the worst of the worst of people and other sorts of things. He is mostly pessimistic until he starts to travel with Yumeko. She starts to break down his walls, which may not be the best thing for him.
I so loved seeing them interact. These two characters were so opposite and it made for a funny and interesting story. The story itself was fabulous. I loved the Japanese mythology aspect of it. It’s something that I haven’t really read much about so it was new and unique to me. Because of this, I had to take my time with the book. It’s not a book that could binge because there’s so much information that I needed to read slowly and make sure I didn’t miss anything. Shadow of the Fox was a fascinating story and I don’t know when the second book comes out which makes me so sad.
Kagawa has done it again with a wonderfully written and extremely entertaining story that left me wanting so much more. She built an incredible world filled with characters that made me laugh and shake my head. I took like two weeks to read this book because I just did not want it to be over. For the readers out there that like mythology, this is for sure a book to keep your eye out for when it’s released this upcoming October.

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 link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

wwwwww

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows. I’ve heard so many good things about it and so far they’re all true. I’m currently listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler.

Antonia- Technically I haven’t started it yet, but Amanda and I recently received copies of The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey from the author in exchange for our reviews. I’m really excited to start this dystopian/paranormal; I’d gotten a little sick of dystopians recently because it feels like they keep following the same patterns after awhile but this one sounds so unique (especially when you add in vampires??).

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. It was super interesting and I liked it very much. Keep an eye out for my review later this month!

Antonia- I just finished The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. It exceeded my expectations and I’m excited for the rest of the series. My review will post tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I think I’m going to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I think I’m also going to start Allies by Bella Forrest on my Kindle in the next few days.

Antonia- I have so many books to read! I think I’ll either start Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones or catch up on The Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading the W’s we came up with this week. What are your answers? Feel free to leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Magical Readathon – O.W.L. Exams TBR

Hi bookworms, Amanda here! I was recently scrolling through Twitter when I saw Books in the Skye share something about a readathon based on the N.E.W.T exams from the Harry Potter books. I did a little more digging and saw that I sadly missed out on the O.W.L exam readathon, hosted over on YouTube by Book Roast, that took place originally in April. I decided that I could either skip the O.W.L.s and just take whatever N.E.W.T.s I felt like doing or I could do the O.W.L. exams anyway. I have decided that I’m going to take the O.W.L. exams anyway. So I will start this challenge tomorrow, August 2nd, and I will try to complete as many exams as I can until the 29th.

owls tbr

The following grades are awarded for the overall OWLs performance:

 

Pass

Outstanding – sit and pass at least 5 OWLs
Exceeded Expectations – sit and pass at least 3 OWLs
Acceptable – sit and pass at least 2 OWLs

Fail

Poor – sit only one OWL
Dreadful – start but not finish any OWLs tasks
Troll – do not show up at your OWLs examinations

Ancient Runes – A book with a symbol on the cover

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (print book)

the wicked deep

Arithmacy – A Book with a number on the cover or in the title

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (print book)

zeroes

Astronomy – A science fiction novel

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (print book)

this mortal coil

Care of Magical Creatures – A book that includes magical creatures or features magical creatures on the cover

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling (print book)

hp - sorcerers stone

Charms – A fantasy novel

A Darker Shade of Magic  by V.E. Schwab (print book)

ADSOM

Defense Against the Dark Arts – A book about or with a secret society or club

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (print book)

city of bones

Divination – A book featuring prophecies 

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (ebook)

shadow of the fox

Herbology – A book with a nature-related word in the title 

Air Awakens by Elise Kova (ebook)

air awakens

History of Magic – A historical fiction novel

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (audiobook)

my lady jane

Muggle Studies – A muggle non-fiction novel

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)

yes please

Potions – A book with or about alchemy 

Allies by Bella Forrest (ebook)

allies

Transfiguration – A book with transfiguration / shapeshifting or a book with a cat on the cover

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (audiobook)

paranormalcy

I don’t expect to read all of these books but I’m someone that does well with options so I wanted to give myself a variety of books to choose from throughout this reading challenge. I’m going to aim to read at least five of these books. Wish me luck!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m still working on getting through Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa on my Kindle. I haven’t picked it up since last week, but I’ll probably finish it in the next few days. I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman as I type this. I’m over halfway through and still somehow have six hours left. I’m also reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I finally picked it up and I’m glad I did because it’s super interesting and I’m only less than fifty pages in.

Antonia- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I cannot stop with this series. I blew through the first two books in a couple days and will probably read this last one just as quickly. I’m so glad Amanda practically threw these books at me.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just yesterday finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I’m doing a reread of the series so I can finally read the last book that came out this year.

Antonia- I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. I read this 600-something-page book in about a day. It was amazing. Expect to see my reviews of this series soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- After I finish Big Little Lies I will probably pick up Glass Sword, the second book in the Red Queen Series. I have quite a few books on my TBR list for this month but I don’t know what order I’m going to read them yet.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I barely started listening to the audiobook for The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg but got distracted by the ACOTAR series. There’s also a couple new books in The Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall that I’m excited to read. But I still have a bunch of new books from my haul from Book Outlet that I need to read so it’ll all depend on my mood when I finish my current read.

Thanks for reading! What are your W’s this week?

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

www wednesday picture new.jpg

What are you currently reading?

Amanda-

ebook – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to fly through this book. It feels like I’ve been reading it forever. I think it’s because it’s full of Japanese mythology which is a topic unfamiliar to me so I’m reading slowly so I don’t miss anything important.
audiobookAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book has been super hard to get through. It’s such a long audiobook and I actually had to return it and then put another hold on it from my library. I’ve made it about halfway through and I’m making more progress on it later today. It’s interesting but a lot of detail so it requires more of my focus than other audiobooks.
physical book – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When the final book in this series came out I knew I was going to have to reread the whole series (I like to reread but I also only remembered a few basic details from this series). I’ve finally made the attempt to start the series reread but I plan to read other things and not binge read these books.

Antonia-

I’m currently reading If I Should Die by Amy Plum. This series has exceeded my expectations and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda-

audiobook – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. It was fantastic and my review will be posting sometime in the next few weeks.
physical book – Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. I just finished reading this last night. I have already written the review and it will also be posted in the next few weeks.

Antonia-

I just finished Until I Die by Amy Plum. I’m really enjoying this series so far. You’ll see a review for this one tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda-

ebook – Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow. I received this in return for an honest review. I’ve heard good things about it and the description sounds super interesting.
audiobookThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This has been on my TBR list forever so when I saw it was available to borrow from my library’s audiobook collection I made sure to grab it.
physical book – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This has been on my TBR list for at least a year and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to knock off some of the books that have been on there for a while.

Antonia-

Next I think I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Amanda’s been yelling at me to read this series for forever and I’m excited to finally get around to it.

These are this week’s W’s! What’s your reading update for this week? Let us know your W’s in the comments and thanks for reading!

WWW Wedneday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

WWW.png

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m in the middle of an ARC from NetGalley, Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I’m reading this one slowly so I don’t miss anything. It’s full of Japanese Mythology and super good. I’m also listening to an audiobook, I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman. I never used to be able to read more than one book at a time, but I think because they’re different formats I’m able to do it. I say this because along with the ebook and audiobook I’m reading a physical book that’s from the library that I need to finish today so I can return it on time! Roseblood by A.G. Howard is the library book I’m trying to power through.

Antonia- I’m actually between books right now but I’ll elaborate on that a little more in the next two answers.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. Keep an eye out for my review sometime next week! I also just finished listening to Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel which was amazing and I loved everything about it.

Antonia- I just finished The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. It was funny and romantic and ridiculous. I loved it.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- I have so many books on my TBR list. The Diviners by Libba Bray that I still haven’t managed to start. Along with the nine books that are on my July TBR list that I know I’m not going to get through.

Antonia- Next I’m thinking either Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg or Wintersong by S Jae-Jones. I’m not sure which one I’m in the mood for yet.

What are your W’s this week?

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

wedn.jpg

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- For those of you that have followed us for a long time, prepare to be shocked. I’m currently reading (sort of) three different books. I’ve recently discovered that I like audiobooks. So I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’m also reading an ARC of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa which I’m trying to read slowly because I love her writing and I don’t ever want it to be over. Last, I’m reading a library book The Diviners by Libba Bray, the last book on my TBR list for the Tome Topple reading challenge.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. It’s the second in her Inkworld series. It’s really long (I picked it for our tome topple challenge), but I have a crazy new work schedule and I’ve been sick so I think I’m going to read Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall instead. I hate not being able to post reviews regularly and this is a quick read that will allow me to actually get a review out this week.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Amanda- Yesterday while in the car on an eight-hour drive back home I finished Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. I’ll be writing my review for this after I’m done writing and scheduling this post. That should be posted later this week or early next.

Antonia– I recently finished Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. It was the perfect bookworm book and I loved it. You can check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next? 

Amanda- I will be reading another library book for sure. Maybe the sequel to The Diviners and maybe something else. I’m not fully committed yet.

Antonia- I’m really not sure what I’ll read next. My giant order from book outlet should be arriving today and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices. I’ll do a small book haul post soon so you guys can see what I got.

These are our W’s for this week! What are yours? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or leave a link to your W post!

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Series I’ve Given up on

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten series I gave up on or do not plan to finish. This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me because I rarely give up on books. So let’s see what I can come up with this week. Okay, so after coming up with an insufficient list I’ve decided I’m going to do a few series that I will definitely be finishing, but haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

ttt 1. House of Night by P.C and Kristen Cast – This series just had so many books. It got to the point where it was hard to keep up with the story and when new books came out. So I just stopped trying to stay on top of it. Now they’re coming out with books again and I just don’t think I’ll ever get around to rereading them all.
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I read the first four books in this series. I borrowed them from Antonia’s mom. But I ended up losing the fourth book and by the time I bought a new copy she had caught up to me and needed the books back for her to read them. I may eventually pick this series up again, but I have no real burning desire to do so anytime soon.
3. The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn – These books were another series that I had a hard time keeping up with. There are so many books and I just lost track of which ones I’ve read and still need to read. I may pick them up again because I did really like the books, but it’s not high on my priority list.
4. The Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson – Once again, too many books coming out to keep track of. I will eventually read these again because they’re easy mystery reads but it won’t be anytime soon.
5. The Princess series by Alexa Riley – I just was not impressed by these books. I think I only read the first and part of the second before giving up.
6. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – The final book in the series came out recently and I’d like to reread the whole series. When am I going to do that? Eventually, my TBR list seems to just keep growing instead of getting smaller.
7. The Talon series by Julie Kagawa – Again, the final book in this series was finally released and I’m planning to reread the entire series, eventually.
8. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – A few weeks ago, I learned that the third book, Nexus, was released sometime last year and I didn’t even realize. So I need to buy this and get around to finishing the series.
9. Millennium series by Stieg Larsson / David Lagercrantz – Literally just now while looking for books to add to this post learned that another book has been released in this series. I will read it, but when I get around to it and who knows when that will be.
10. Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter – I finished the main series of these books; I actually own all of them. But there’s a few spin-off series with other characters that I haven’t managed to get around to reading yet, but I definitely plan to.

This is my top ten for this week! What series have you given up on?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Inferno by Julie Kagawa

Summary: TODAY, WE STRIKE BACK.

WE SHOW TALON THAT WE WILL NEVER ACCEPT THEIR NEW WORLD.

Ember Hill has learned a shocking truth about herself: she is the blood of the Elder Wyrm, the ancient dragon who leads Talon and who is on the verge of world domination. With the Order of St. George destroyed, Ember, Riley and Garret journey to the Amazon jungle in search of one who might hold the key to take down the Elder Wyrm and Talon—if they can survive the encounter.

Meanwhile, Ember’s brother, Dante, will travel to China with a message for the last Eastern dragons: join Talon or die. With the stakes rising and the Elder Wyrm declaring war, time is running out for the rogues and any dragon not allied with Talon. 

The final battle approaches. And if Talon is victorious, the world will burn.

Review:

DISCLAIMER: Since this is the last book in the series, there may be spoilers from previous books in this series. If you haven’t read books 1-4, you may not want to continue reading.

I. Love. This. Series.
Inferno is the fifth and final book in the Talon series and I’m happy to say I was very pleased with this last installment. That’s not to say it was perfect, but I wasn’t really disappointed by anything.
Ember continued to grow into herself right up until the end; from the impulsive, immature child to the daring rogue ready to take on everyone and finally, to the young woman at the end who I’d love to be friends with. Good character development is one of my favorite things so the fact that Ember went from someone who really annoyed me to a character I can actually admire made me extremely happy.
This was somewhat true for Riley and Garret as well. They didn’t have as much growth as Ember did but as I slowly got to know them better throughout the series, I liked them more and more.
The only character I actively dislike is Dante. There are a lot of bad guys in the series that I can appreciate as villians but Dante wasn’t one of them. He really just annoyed me for most of the series until I ended up hating him at the end. I think mainly it’s because his actions in this book felt off to me; the Dante I’d been reading about wouldn’t act like this. It might just be me but I definitely found the end of his story arc frustrating.
I really enjoyed most other aspects of this book. As with most series conclusions, there was a lot happening but it didn’t feel like I was being overloaded with information or like everything was happening too fast. One of my favorite bits was that Riley finally got a chance to go after the Talon facility that houses their breeder females. (It’s basically a lab where female dragons who aren’t considered important enough for anything else are kept as broodmares. It’s despicable but I can’t get started ranting about it or I’ll never stop.) This has been Riley’s white whale for at least a few decades. He’s been searching and searching for it in order to free the dragonells but was never able to find it until now. I really loved seeing what this meant for his character.
I also really liked getting to finally see the Elder Wyrm in dragon form. It. Was. Amazing.
Overall I really loved this book. It made an excellent conclusion to a wonderful series. It fits more into the YA and fantasy genres but I believe it can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. Let me know what you think in the comments and thanks so much for visiting our blog.
-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!

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!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

www wednesday picture new

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda – So I haven’t actually started it yet, but I’m going to count this as currently reading anyway. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco is sitting on my coffee table waiting for me to be finished with this post and my homework and the laundry and the many other things I should (but probably won’t) get done before I can let myself read.

Antonia – I’m currently reading Soldier by Julie Kagawa. Technically I’m only a few pages in but this is the first one of the series that I’m not rereading so I’m really excited to see where the story takes me.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Amanda – I just finished reading The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, (check out my review here.) I wasn’t crazy about it and I’m really hoping the second book is better and answers some of the questions The Bone Witch left me with.

Antonia – I just finished Rogue by Julie Kagawa. (See my review here.) This one was a really fun, action-packed read.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda – This question has not gotten any easier for me the last few weeks. I just have so many options and have gotten so many new books in the last few weeks. I might reread the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I might reread the Snow Like Ashes series by Sara Raasch. I might reread the Talon series by Julia Kagawa. I might reread the Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. But I really just am undecided, (but look at all the fun and awesome books you guys get to look forward to me reviewing!) Ask me again next week and maybe I’ll have decided.

Antonia – I’m pretty sure I’m going to stick with my Talon marathon and read Legion by Julie Kagawa the fourth book in the series.

What are your W’s this week?

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!