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review 2019-03-20 11:56
A Conjuring of Light
A Conjuring of Light - V.E. Schwab

by V.E. Schwab

 

Third in the series. I had a time gap between reading the second book of this series and this one, so jumping right into action that effectively continues from the second book took me a little while to settle into.

 

It all started coming back soon. Book two left us on a cliffhanger with Kell in peril! I was so displeased about the cliffhanger that I didn't even bother to review it. But a few chapters into this one and I was desperate to see him escape.

 

I found this one stressful. Too many tempers, too much hopelessness in the situation that arises. Many times I wanted to just stop so I wouldn't have to go back into this imaginary world anymore, so unlike the first book that made it rather fun. It also meanders a lot and it took me quite a long time to read it because it didn't always hold my attention and seemed overly long.

 

But with the first two books of the series demanding continuity, I persevered. I'm glad I did. The last third of the book had me doing late nights. I was really gripped! All I'll say about the end is that it all gets tied up neatly, though I do wonder who will inherit the kingdom in the next generation.

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review 2018-12-05 19:27
Review: Girls of Paper and Fire
Girls of Paper and Fire - Natasha Ngan

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I went into reading this one with minimal expectations, sounded good but wasn’t really expecting much as I have read so much fantasy this year, and most of it has been a mixed bag. The premise was interesting enough as was the Malaysian inspired premise – but reading in the blurb protagonist chosen to be part of a king’s harem and does the unthinkable – falls in love with someone else.

 

Initially there was a bit of eye rolling on my part and a guess – oh she’s going to fall for some guard or male servant or a prince who’s going to wind up helping her some way. Did I ever get a surprise on that department!

 

I found myself absolutely loving this book. I had started reading by ebook review galley, to find this was the book of the month in my Fairyloot subscription box and got a signed edition with the prettiest cover and pink sprayed edges. This is one of my top ten books of this year.

 

Trigger warnings – sexual assault. There is actually a warning for this on the inside cover of the hardback.

 

The world building is rich and well developed, in this fantasy there are three castes – Paper, the lowest caste, the humans, Steele – half human, half demons  - the middle cast – these people have demoneseque features and powers. Moon caste are the highest – complete demons form. The demon form is usually some sort of animal basis.

 

The heroine Lei lives a hard but happy life in her village with her father in his shop, they are both Paper, they live with her father’s assistant, a Steele class lady who has worked there as long as Lei can remember and is like family to them. Lei’s mother disappeared 10 years ago, taken by a demon army.

 

Every year a number of girls are chosen (read taken) by the Demon King’s army to be Paper Girls – the King’s Concubines – it’s not a request if you’re chosen. Lei finds herself taken by the army, she has unusual gold eyes – goddess touched – which earns her the army chief’s attention and he takes her thinking he can gain favour with the king.

 

Lei’s world is shattered. Lei has a strong voice and is fiery and determined. She was a brilliant lead, full of personality and promise, without being overly head strong or making stupid decisions and rash actions. She’s naturally completely against being a Paper Girl but figures once she’s at the Imperial Palace she might be able to find out what happened to her missing mother.

 

Paper Girls for this year’s crop have already been chosen so Lei’s addition is unusual. Her goddess touched gold eyes make her a viable option. Some of the girls there have been training for this for years and are from high class families, and your typical mean girls. Others are colder and more remote, and one girl is nice and friendly, if very naïve.

 

Lei reluctantly starts to settle into life at the Palace – an elevated life of culture and learning. The girls have a maid who helps them, and lessons, it’s very exclusive and luxurious – but there’s something quite oppressive about it as well. As there is always the threat of the reason why they are there – to serve as concubines to a demon king who doesn’t care if this is something the girls want or not.

 

The girls have to attend various Court events after they are presented to the King. The King makes his choices and one by one the girls are called on to perform their duties. The reactions they have after their night with the King is different for each girl. It’s very uncomfortable to read about.

 

The King is a young man, very handsome, but brutal, a bully, he has moments where you think there might be more to him than a cold ruler who has very little thought for anyone else other than what he wants. But just as quickly as you get that glimpse – something happens and he’s horrible again. And gets worse and worse throughout the novel.

 

While regular Paper Girl life is going on Lei finds herself becoming enamoured with one of the other Paper Girls. This is one the best slow burn romances I’ve come across in a long time. It’s so so slow but the build of anticipation is brilliant as Lei gets to know the girl, Wren. Wren was one of the ones who was cold and dismissive at first, but Wren is as mysterious as she is beautiful. Lei’s yearning comes through so vividly, as she tries to figure out her ceilings, worrying about waiting for her own turn with the king.

 

As the romance slowly blossoms, Lei starts learning some of Wren’s secrets. The plot starts picking upwards the end. There’s a few mysteries and some plot twists and a good burst of action towards the end. And a really WTF cliffhanger at the end. Just when you think everything might actually be okay… of course it’s not!

 

I can’t find enough words for how much I loved this book. There’s not much more I can say without being overly spoilerly about the overall plot. It’s hard to read in some places and deals with some serious issues. It gets uncomfortable. Other places it’s beautifully written with a moving romance, and some lovely female friendships.

 

I can’t wait for more of this series.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2018-10-23 21:55
Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Shards of Hope (Psy/Changeling) - Nalini Singh

Really good. It's one of the longest if not the longest psy-changeling novel but I still wanted more. The way the Arrows started to build their society was so fascinating and I liked how all these different groups were trying to work together. There were old characters and amazing new ones and while some of the old villains were still lurking around they had a terrifying new foe, who wasn't picky while choosing its targets.
This is definitely my favourite paranormal series.

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review 2018-10-23 13:29
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
River Marked - Patricia Briggs

I just love Mercy Thompson series. 
I've waited for a long time for Adam and Mercy to have some quality time together. And it was absolutely amazing - Adam is such a sweetheart - and at the same time scary as hell. There have been very intense moments in this series but vampires, fae, and werewolves have never frightened me as this creature in the river did. I was so scared during Mercy's dream and when she discovered herself by the river at night, I was actually hyperventilating. 

I also realized that I have a strange habit while reading Mercy Thompson series. I read the first half of the book very quickly and then I start stalling because I don't want the story to end.

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review 2018-10-13 23:50
All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
Terve pikk suvi (Fool's Gold, #9) - Susan Mallery,Raili Puskar

Actually, I was kind of hoping it to be a boring story, so I could stop reading the series. It wasn't. Although All Summer Long was an easy read, it was unbelievably good.
I enjoyed the storyline. The main characters, Charlie and Clay, were smart, independent, and interesting. The book had enough romance, family drama, and also some wonderfully hilarious moments. The ending was very similar to all the other endings in this series, but I didn't care. Charlie and Clay were amazing. I fell in love with this couple. I wanted them to have their happily ever after.
Now I just have to read the next story and hope it is as good as this one. :) 
I also think Fool's Gold would be a great TV series.

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