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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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.
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!
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Tur was a fast and fun little taste of the Norse mythology based Elsker Saga series by S.T. Bende. I am a huge fan of mythology based books, but I have really only read a few Norse based ones. I am happy to add this book to that list! The characters were interesting, Inga and Gunnar were a great couple, I especially loved Inga, she was a fierce and powerful woman and I loved that she whipped all the warriors into shape and then went home and whipped up some tasty treats for her favorite boys. I have to say I'm definitely intrigued by Ull, which works out perfectly since he is the star of the show in the next book, Elsker. I'll definitely be continuing on with this series.
** I received this book free for review when signing up for the Author's newsletter **