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!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I am currently listening to Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, the third and final book in the Themis Files trilogy. Head to our master review list to see my thoughts on the first two books in the series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I’ve been interested in this premise since I first saw it and have finally gotten around to reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just finished The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I received it as an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Keep an eye out for my review in the next few weeks!

Antonia- I just finished Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I am hoping to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard or Uprooted by Naomi Novik or Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy. I have too many books in too many different formats available to me right now so I never know what I’m going to read until I choose.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I’ll probably try to finish the Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Celtic Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: I am the Druid

Finally, I know what I am. The Druid of the Dragon Gods. The knowledge comes at a price, however. Two new golden tattoos have appeared on my arms, and they’re blocking my magic. Magic that I need to survive. 

When two ancient druids show up at the Protectorate needing my help, it’s obvious there’s something big at play. A dangerous force has invaded the Celtic realm, and they say that only I can save it. I jump on the chance, and not just because I want to. If I can go to the Celtic realm, maybe I can learn more about what I am. Maybe I can save my magic.

With the powerful shifter mage Lachlan at my side, we encounter a realm of extreme danger—and mystery. It’s up to us to unravel it before the Celtic realm is destroyed and I lose my magic forever..

Celtic Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: Have I told you guys that I love Hall’s books? I can say all sorts of things about them (and I will) but mostly they’re just fun.
In this book, Ana has finally learned where her magic comes from and now has a chance to develop new powers and also learn to stabilize her old ones; up until now they’ve been a little chaotic inside her. She learns to do this in the Celtic Realm (basically where the Celtic gods live/ the Celtic afterlife) while also trying to figure out what sort of evil is attacking the realm.
I absolutely loved learning about the Celtic gods. It’s not a mythology that I’ve read about often and I’m really excited for more of it in the rest of the series.
Ana’s still awesome, especially now that she’s figuring out exactly how awesome she is. She’s finally gaining some well-needed confidence in herself. I especially love her relationships with her sisters, Lachlan, and the Cats of Catastrophe. Ana definitely isn’t one of those people who’s likes everyone they meet but when she cares about someone she goes all out. She and her sisters would do anything for each other, and have on multiple occasions. They’re banter is the best.
The Cats of Catastrophe are probably my favorite part of these books. The gang consists of three extremely different cats; Princess Snowflake III (fluffy, white, and bloodthirsty), Bojangles (an orange cat who Ana calls “a sweet moron”), and Muffin (the Cat Sith, a fairy creature from celtic mythology). These cats are entirely magical and can even speak to Ana with telepathy. “Cats of Catastrophe” is the name they received because they’re morally neutral and, before they met Ana, mostly spent their time as jewel thieves. I love them so much and not just because I’m a cat person. Muffin is the most sarcastic character in the books and Princess is just mean to everyone (except very occasional to Ana). Ana and Princess had a really sweet moment in this book and frankly, I cried a little.
I finally got to know Lachlan better. Now that he and Ana are seeing where their relatonship might lead, I like him a lot more. Even though he’s one of the most powerful mages in the world, he always treats Ana as his equal. He supports her and always has her back but he doesn’t try to fight her battles for her. It’s something I think we need more of in the way relationships are portrayed in all types of media.
Overall this book just made me want to read the next one more. It was fast-paced, funny, and action-packed. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA and mythology. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: To solve this crime, I’ll have to risk it all

Training at the Undercover Protectorate’s Academy is kicking my butt. My sister aced it in a few months—but I’m lagging behind like a three-legged poodle at a greyhound race. I don’t want to have to leave my new home in this amazing castle, so I’ve got to get a grip on my magic. Soon.

When thieves steal valuable dragon magic, it puts our whole castle is put at risk. Worse, our friends are dying. It’s my destiny to hunt the thieves, but my boss doesn’t get that. When she tells me to stand down, I have to listen. And that means our magic keeps weakening, and our friends are closer to death.

Unless I ignore my boss… 

My home and friends are in danger, so I’m going rogue. Fortunately, I’ve got the sexy shifter mage Lachlan Munroe on my side. Together, we’ll race against time to solve this crime of magic.

Crime of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: I blew through the second book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. All of these books are pretty quick reads but I finished this one even faster than I normally do. It was one of my favorites that I’ve read so far of Hall’s books.
I really enjoyed watching Ana finally start to gain a little control over her magic. In the first book she had so many doubts about herself that it was nice to see her start gaining some confidence. As with the first book, she’s trying to get a handle on her newly developing magic while trying to figure out which pantheon she belongs to. (Ana and her sisters are DragonGods, which means they possess the powers of the gods of whichever pantheon they belong to.) We sort of find out Ana’s pantheon at the very end of the book but I still have a ton of questions about what it actually means.
At first I was a little disappointed because this meant there wasn’t really any mythology in this book and that’s one of the things I love about these series. I ended up being really happy with the alternative though. Instead of mythology, Hall used twisted fairytales. Some were from old, lesser-known versions and some she simply put her own twist on but they were all really interesting and fun.
I still don’t know what I think about Lachlan. We don’t know too much about him yet which I hope is remedied in the next books. I like the stuff that I do know about him but, personally, I need more from the male MC. The romantic tension between Ana and Lachlan was done pretty well; enough small details inserted into scenes to show it’s something continually on their minds but not so much that it becomes overbearing and ridiculous.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes these characters. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal and urban fantasy though I suggest starting with the first Dragon’s Gift series. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and thanks 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!

Institute of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: Where winning means survival.

According to legend, I’m supposed to be some kind of all-powerful DragonGod—gifted with the magic of gods. Instead, I’m a dud. In fact, I’m currently failing out of the Undercover Protectorate’s magical institute.

It’s the supernatural version of Scotland Yard, and I’ve got one chance left to earn my place here. To do so, I have to compete in a deadly race across the world. In order to win, I need to survive. And I’ll need the help of a sexy and powerful shifter mage named Lachlan Munroe.

When we figure out that the race is rigged, Lachlan and I must rely on each other to make it through. But will I be able to learn enough magic to save my life?

Institute of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: This is the first book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. It’s the fifth series she’s written connected by the same magical world and characters. This one follows Ana Blackwood as she tries to master her magical powers and save the world at the same time. I’ve been really excited for this series to come out because I’ve always loved Ana from the previous series.
First, I was a little thrown off by the misleading book summary. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) Mainly the bit about the “deadly race across the world”. When dangerous magic is stolen, the Undercover Protectorate is called on to help retrieve it. Everyone splits up into small groups and spread out to try to find clues and there’s also reward money for whoever actually retrieves the spell but they’re still essentially working together. As soon as someone finds a clue they let everyone else know and they all team up for the big fight. There’s certainly a lot of obstacles but nothing’s actually rigged. No, it’s not actually a problem. The description just had me expecting something like The Amazing Race and it was nothing like that.
I liked Ana as much as ever. Now that I got to see things from her POV, I hated seeing all the doubts she had as she struggled to fit everyone’s expectations of her. Her sister, Bree, has already come into her DragonGod powers; she basically has most of the powers of the Norse gods. Everyone’s waiting for Ana’s powers to expand too and find out which pantheon she belongs to but it’s happening a lot slower for her than it did her sister and she kept comparing herself to Bree and feeling like she was failing. I can’t wait to see how she grows in the next books and hope she gains more confidence in herself.
Lachlan is still a bit of a mystery to me. He’s crazy powerful but we’ve only seen a handful of the twelve powers he possesses. I also really like the way he and Ana interact with each other. I’m excited to see where their romance goes. I just didn’t get to find out too much about him yet so I’m reserving some of my judgement but I think I’m really going to like him.
Overall this was a really fun story. It followed the same basic setup as her other books but there’s enough differences between the characters and the details of the plot that I never feel like I’m reading the same story over and over. It’s a really quick, enjoyable read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes paranormal or urban fantasy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. 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!