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review 2019-01-12 19:22
Crown of Thunder - Karissa Laurel

While I'm saddened to see this fantastical adventure come to an end, what a way to go! Crown of Thunder gives us the end of a magical journey, but also a hopeful beginning of sorts that is just as important.



One of the things I found most enchanting about this addition might not be what you would expect. Can we please take a minute to talk about the storyline between Evie and Jackie Faercourt? I never in a million years could have envisioned their inevitable culmination to play out the way it did. Absolutely brilliant! I'm at war with myself a little where this is concerned because the ultimate reconciliation was EPIC, but there's also a part of me that really would have LOVED even more Jackie. That's really a testament to just how well written a character he was and also how he surprisingly added more depth to Evie as well. I was not prepared for him to rise to these all new heights in this book. I thought I knew him. I thought I knew how things would go when their paths crossed again. I thought wrong. At one point I thought PLEASE LET THIS BE A SET UP FOR A SPINOFF ANTIHERO STORY. He ultimately became one of the most interesting characters to me, and although I do not see any antihero redemption stories in his future, the way that things played out was really quite perfect. Evie suddenly becomes all of us, confused by the warring emotions swirling around inside of her and unexpectedly battered by this sadness that was so unexpectedly powerful where Jackie is concerned.





I was so glad to see just how much Evie had grown as a person in this one. Her wild adventure to find her way back home took a young, sheltered, naive girl and helped shape her into a fierce, compassionate, prudent queen. She found herself out on the road, (air and sea too!) and she found her people and her purpose.




I also found that I enjoyed the few quiet moments, in between the chaos. The moments where she strolled with a friend and they reminisced on their childhoods and let themselves think of the homes they desperately missed in a way they haven't in so long. Or stolen moments with her heart's desire that even in a war they took the few moments to remind each other what else they were fighting for.



I just love this whole world, so full of magic and mayhem, so vibrant and full of the most colorful people. I would be enamored by any one of their tales, I'm sure of it! I'm sad to say goodbye to it, but a girl can always dream that maybe instead it is, until we meet again one day.


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review 2017-08-20 21:59
Molten Dusk - Karissa Laurel
  Words can't even express how excited I was to get my hands on an early copy of Multen Dusk! So I'll just let Thor do it. 
Actually, I've enlisted Thor and co. to help me with this review to better express all the many feels this book has inspired. 
Molten Dusk pretty much picked up where Arctic Dawn left off, with Helen, Skoll and their goons trying to devour Solina and bring on the second Ragnarok. 
I did appreciate just how much Solina and Thorin had grown in this addition to the series. Solina was definitely on a smarter path this time around. She was more hesitant to jump straight into each new dangerous situation. Solina was never one to sit back and let her friends fight the good fight without her, but she did learn to trust in them more and know when to listen to her head and let others take the lead when it made sense. But when the time did come for her to storm in she did so with flare! 
Solina went through a lot in this book too. But I think the most devastating was the faceoff with Val. I knew it was inevitable, but man it still stung. I'm honestly glad that Solina seemed to feel that too. Val weasled his way in your heart throughout this series, and it wasn't an easy feat to cast him out.
And then there was Thorin.
Thorin was still the protective, mighty bit of yumminess that we've come to know and love. But I feel like we also got to see a much more vulnerable side to him this time that we haven't really seen much of before. I especially liked hearing more about his past in Asgard, even if it was incredibly heartbreaking. 
It was nice to see him opening up to Solina and putting himself out there. And the chemistry between the two was off the charts! 
Besides the smoking hot smoochy stuff there was that whole stopping the end of the world as we know it thing they were smack dab in the middle of. 
Being that Solina and Thorin were more inclined to trust people (with a heavy dose of weariness, of course), that did put them in the position to possibly be betrayed by those closer to them. And there were many likely candidates for this. It was nearly impossible to foresee exactly who was truly on their side or just laying in wait to make their move against them. 
Let us not forget to mention the incredibly awkward/adorable situation where Solina's parents finally came into the fold and were introduced/bombarded with the fact that she and her brother were not exactly human, Norse Myths are real, and all their lives are in danger. Oh, and mom & dad...have you met Thorin the God of Thunder? 
I quite enjoyed Thorin whipping out his Hammer for them! And no pervs, that isn't an euphemism for something lewd. 
We finally come to the EPIC final showdown at the end. I honestly LOVED the way it all played out. There were quite a few things that I didn't see coming that I wouldn't dream of spoiling for any of you. I will say I was honestly more surprised by those who stepped up and chose to act for what's right than the deceivers this time around. Which was a refreshing change of pace after the (cannot be topped) betrayal in the last book. 
I thought things wrapped up nicely in general. It was sad to say goodbye to this story and these characters, and while I would have loved to get a little better of a glimpse past all this chaos and bloodshed, I was pleased to get the little sneak peek. 
If you haven't started The Norse Chronicles yet, I highly recommend doing so! It is a perfect blend of Norse Mythology and modern atmosphere, and the series is now complete for you to gobble 'em all up at once! 
*Thank you gif maker extraordinaires for the wealth of Thor related gifs on the interwebs that made this post possible*
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. 
**A special thanks to author Karissa Laurel for creating this awesome series, and so kindly sharing early copies and always shouting out your appreciation to your biggest fans (including little ole me!). I can't wait to see what you come up with next!** 


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review 2017-01-15 04:26
Heir of Thunder (Stormbourne Chronicles Book 1) - Sue Fairchild,Karissa Laurel


   I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this story! I really loved that it read more like an epic fantasy. The journey Evie and Gideon took over land, sea, and even air; meeting friend and foe along the way, was quite a ride! I honestly found each place they traveled very interesting, along with all the new people they met.




Evie was a great leading lady. She started out this story pretty naïve and sheltered. But what she lacked in experience and worldly knowledge she definitely made up for in temperament! I mean, this girl had to flee the only home she had ever known going up in flames with the people she considered family, to ride out into the dangerous unknown with only her trusty horse, cloak, meager supplies and the stoic horse master Gideon. And bravo to her for keeping her head in the midst of all that! She even (mostly) listened to Gideon's instructions and put up with his secretiveness along the way. That's a hell of a lot more than I would have been capable of  doing! I actually liked that she was naïve in the beginning, seeing these new places and experiencing things for the first time through her eyes made everything seem just a little more beguiling. It also made her interactions with people more interesting. I feel like she got a taste of the best and worst that humanity has to offer, and with each new meeting, whether good or bad, she grew as a person, and as a soon to be Queen, which was important.


I quite liked Gideon too. He was pretty standoffish in the beginning especially, but I think in the end he did genuinely come to care for Evie, and I think he is a good guy, caught in a very hard situation. By the end of this book I came to feel like I understood much of why he was the way he was, most especially with Evie, and it made more sense to me. I'm rooting for this guy! I was super proud of Evie each time she showed him how much he underestimated her though! So I suppose I am mostly TEAM EVIE!


The magical/mythical element here was fantastic! The Stormbourne legacy was enchanting! Descendants and rulers of Thunder and Lightening....




Evie has a very rich family legacy and I quite enjoyed each new piece we learned about it as the story progressed. I am DYING to know what happens next after that KILLER ending!



I CAN'T WAIT to get my hands on the next book! To briefly sum this up for you, if you are a fan of fantasy, give this book a try! So much happened, so many lands were explored, and the characters were well fleshed out and had grown by the end, and I find it very impressive that Heir of Thunder managed to feel so epic in just 288 pages, but it did, so major props to Laurel for pulling that off! A cloak of invisibility, flying ship, kidnapping, prophecy, betrayal, adventure, revolution, and forbidden love, I mean what more could you possibly want?!




I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-07-07 02:34
Arctic Dawn - Karissa Laurel

going to go process this



Wow! I don't know exactly what I was expecting when I started this book, but the right off the bat, the new, fiercer Solina Mundy set the tone for this pulse pounding thrill ride. Where Midnight Burning was a slow burn that grew in intensity as the story progressed, Arctic Dawn was a flash freeze that stole your breath from start to finish.


this is madness gif




While I loved the faster paced, action-packed tone to this book, I do think there could have been a smidge more time between the missions Solina was constantly juggling to process everything. It seemed like the team was constantly being pulled in different directions and they often deviated from the original goal, and as interesting as they were, jumping to and fro between breaths I feel like I didn't always get the chance to fully appreciate the latest development. I found myself handling that situation much like I handle any given horror flick, yelling adamantly at the characters to not do something dumb like split up because you know it's not going to end well for them.



white people always wanna split up


But boring this tale was not! I can dig all the action, but I do feel as if a second read through might give me more time to fully feel everything, since I now know the outcome and don't have that burning need to devour every word as quick as I can to see what happens next.  




I LOVE the character development in Arctic Dawn! Solina was so impassioned, and powerful, and determined, and I LOVED the hell out of that. She's always had the brains, and seeing her step up and do whatever she could to be stand strong in the face of everything was glorious! And she wasn't the only one bringning that wow factor here. I really enjoyed seeing some different facets of Thorin too. There was this tenderness awakening where Solina was concerned and it melted me into a gooey puddle of creeper. Like seriously, do you know how many times I just wanted to be like...



kiss already

jk but seriously

kiss now!


I also have to mention how enamored I was by the heavy norse mythology in this addition. It took awhile for that aspect to show up in Midnight Burning but it was seeping through each and every page in Artic Dawn and I lapped that stuff up like a rabid animal.



All in all this was a fantastic addition to the series and I am desperate to see what happens with this rag tag group of favorites next! Especially after that gut-wrenching ending! My feels are all over the place and all I know for certain is I need more! And smooching, please bring the smooching in the next book.



creeper smile  


I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-04-25 03:41
Demigods and Monsters (The Sphinx Book 2) - Raye Wagner



Demigods and Monsters starts off pretty much right where the previous book, Curse of the Sphinx ends. Hope flees her friends and her home not to run this time, but to finally find some answers. She is determined to break Apollo's curse and free herself once and for all, even if that means throwing herself straight into the lion's den to find what she seeks.


Hope's tenacity in finding answers was a relief in this book. After her running for most of book 1 it was nice to see Hope stop running and start trying to save herself. It was especially great to see her making some new friends along the way, and really start kicking some butt! The change of scenery was such a welcome addition. I really enjoyed the conservatory! The library alone was enough to make a girl swoon.


look at all the books


The new characters introduced in this addition were FANTASTIC!! I really enjoyed getting to know some of these Demigods, Xan and Dahila were definitely my favorites! I'm not quite sure if Xan is supposed to be a new love interest for Hope or not, while I hope that is not the case for Hope, I really enjoyed him being there and caring for her the way he did. I'm still rooting for Athan, but Xan is a great addition to the story. I'm really curious to see where their loyalties end up after they finally found out Hope's secret. I also enjoyed seeing some more misunderstood monsters! It was sad to see how they are treated simply for being born the way they are. Some having just inherited a curse without and wrong doing and all.


"The stories were depressing. The humans who'd offended the gods were then cursed to become monsters, half-breeds. In some cases, it was the human's offspring, as if an innocent child offended the gods by its very existence. And the monsters were offensive to both man and god. More often than not, their end was horribly tragic."


I had really hoped to glean some more information in this book. After book 1 still left so many things unanswered, I had hoped to learn more about the curse, and some hints, at the very least, on how to break it in this novel. Unfortunately after this story you are left with only even more questions. I did enjoy the journey, but I was hoping for some plot progression in that area. Everything else was fantastic and I was extra happy with the little encounters with some big name gods in this one too! I'll definitely be continuing on with this series, and I'm really looking forward to where the next book will be taking us!! And hopefully there will be some answers to these burning questions in that one!


hades approves this message


I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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